- Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Psychologie (16)
The power of liking: Highly sensitive asthetic processing for guiding us through the world
Stella J. Faerber
- Assessing liking is one of the most intriguing and influencing types of processing we
experience day by day. We can decide almost instantaneously what we like and are highly consistent
in our assessments, even across cultures. Still, the underlying mechanism is not well understood
and often neglected by vision scientists. Several potential predictors for liking are discussed in the
literature, among them very prominently typicality. Here, we analysed the impact of subtle changes
of two perceptual dimensions (shape and colour saturation) of three-dimensional models of chairs
on typicality and liking. To increase the validity of testing, we utilized a test-adaptation–retest design
for extracting sensitivity data of both variables from a static (test only) as well as from a dynamic
perspective (test–retest). We showed that typicality was only influenced by shape properties,
whereas liking combined processing of shape plus saturation properties, indicating more complex
and integrative processing. Processing the aesthetic value of objects, persons, or scenes is an
essential and sophisticated mechanism, which seems to be highly sensitive to the slightest variations
of perceptual input.
Artful terms: A study on aesthetic word usage for visual art versus film and music
M. Dorothee Augustin
- Despite the importance of the arts in human life, psychologists still know relatively little
about what characterises their experience for the recipient. The current research approaches this
problem by studying people’s word usage in aesthetics, with a focus on three important art forms:
visual art, film, and music. The starting point was a list of 77 words known to be useful to describe
aesthetic impressions of visual art (Augustin et al 2012, Acta Psychologica 139 187–201). Focusing
on ratings of likelihood of use, we examined to what extent word usage in aesthetic descriptions
of visual art can be generalised to film and music. The results support the claim of an interplay
of generality and specificity in aesthetic word usage. Terms with equal likelihood of use for all
art forms included beautiful, wonderful, and terms denoting originality. Importantly, emotion-related
words received higher ratings for film and music than for visual art. To our knowledge this is direct
evidence that aesthetic experiences of visual art may be less affectively loaded than, for example,
experiences of music. The results render important information about aesthetic word usage in the
realm of the arts and may serve as a starting point to develop tailored measurement instruments for
different art forms.
Judging body-weight from faces: The height-weight illusion
Tobias M. Schneider
- Abstract. Being able to exploit features of the human face to predict health and fitness can serve
as an evolutionary advantage. Surface features such as facial symmetry, averageness, and skin
colour are known to influence attractiveness. We sought to determine whether observers are able
to extract more complex features, namely body weight. If possible, it could be used as a predictor
for health and fitness. For instance, facial adiposity could be taken to indicate a cardiovascular
challenge or proneness to infections. Observers seem to be able to glean body weight information
from frontal views of a face. Is weight estimation robust across different viewing angles? We
showed that participants strongly overestimated body weight for faces photographed from a
lower vantage point while underestimating it for faces photographed from a higher vantage point.
The perspective distortions of simple facial measures (eg width-to-height ratio) that accompany
changes in vantage point do not suffice to predict body weight. Instead, more complex patterns must be involved in the height ^ weight illusion.
The Mere Exposure effect in the domain of haptics
- Background: Zajonc showed that the attitude towards stimuli that one had been previously exposed to is more positive
than towards novel stimuli. This mere exposure effect (MEE) has been tested extensively using various visual stimuli. Research
on the MEE is sparse, however, for other sensory modalities.
Methodology/Principal Findings: We used objects of two material categories (stone and wood) and two complexity levels
(simple and complex) to test the influence of exposure frequency (F0 = novel stimuli, F2 = stimuli exposed twice,
F10 = stimuli exposed ten times) under two sensory modalities (haptics only and haptics & vision). Effects of exposure
frequency were found for high complex stimuli with significantly increasing liking from F0 to F2 and F10, but only for the
stone category. Analysis of ‘‘Need for Touch’’ data showed the MEE in participants with high need for touch, which suggests
different sensitivity or saturation levels of MEE.
Conclusions/Significance: This different sensitivity or saturation levels might also reflect the effects of expertise on the
haptic evaluation of objects. It seems that haptic and cross-modal MEEs are influenced by factors similar to those in the
visual domain indicating a common cognitive basis.
Aesthetic appraisal of product designs: Independent effects of typicality and arousal
Jan P. L. Schoormans
- Theories differ on how typicality and arousal influence aesthetic appraisal and whether
these processes together interact or have independent effects on aesthetic appraisal.
This research investigates the simultaneous effects of typicality and arousal on aesthetic
appraisal for product designs by manipulating both processes separately: typicality by
prototype deviation and arousal by colour saturation levels. We demonstrate that
typicality has a curvilinear relationship with aesthetic appraisal. Additionally, arousal
has a positive linear relationship with aesthetic appraisal of product designs. Moreover,
arousal can influence aesthetic appraisal independent from typicality.
There's more than one way to irritation! An attempt to categorize ambiguity in art
- Irritation is not definable by outside-characteristics but is elicited by inconsistencies between internal states [Zschocke, 2006, Munich, Fink]. The principle of exclusivity calls for only one clear interpretation at a time thus explaining why we perceive a sudden switch between interpretations when bi-stable pictures are perceived. Zeki [2004, Consciousness and Cognition, 13(1), 173-196] defines ambiguity accordingly as the existence of multiple possibilities or schemata in contrast to uncertainty. We extracted several categories of ambiguity out of multi-dimensional semantic scales gathered for the perception of modern art that go beyond ambiguity as a simple “switch” of interpretations. Examples out of experiential reports further indicate that contradictory elements can be found on several levels of processing including imagination, association and simulation processes. We propose that modern art is capable of fusing unsolvable contradictions in various ways. Several theories suggest that elaboration of these ambiguities [Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(6-7), 15-51] and specifically the reduction of prediction-errors [Van de Cruys and Wagemans, 2011, i-Perception, 2(9), 1035-1062] are linked to aesthetic appreciation which underlines the relevance of looking closer at the several ways of irritation in art.
Ramachandran V S, Hirstein W, 1999 "The science of art. A neurological theory of aesthetic experience" Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 15-51
Van de Cruys S, Wagemans J, 2011 "Putting reward in art: A tentative prediction error account of visual art" i-Perception 2 1035-1062
Zeki S, 2004 "The neurology of ambiguity" Consciousness and Cognition 13 173-196
Zschocke N, 2006 Der irritierte Blick: Kunstrezeption und Aufmerksamkeit (Munich: Fink)
Modelling Adaptation Effects as Similarity to Dynamic Prototypes
A Cognitive Model For Predicting Aesthetical Judgements As Similarity to Dynamic Prototypes
Stella J. Faerber
Face adaptation effects show strong and long-lasting transfer from lab to more ecological contexts
Rigidity rather than age as a limiting factor to appreciate innovative design
Jan P. L. Schoormans
- In this paper, we study to what degree older consumers differ from middle-aged
consumers with respect to the appreciation of new product designs. We asked respondents
from both age groups to evaluate innovative designs that were shown repeatedly, replicating a
regular market situation by using the Repeated Evaluation Technique (RET). The results show
that rigidity, but not age influences the speed of appreciation towards new product designs
under these circumstances. Our findings indicate that it is a misconception that older
consumers are slower in adopting new product innovations per se.