- Visibility in Information Spaces and in Geographic Environments. Post-Proceedings of the KI'11 Workshop (October 4th, 2011, TU Berlin, Germany) (2011)
- In the post-proceedings of the Workshop "Visibility in Information Spaces and in Geographic Environments" a selection of research papers is presented where the topic of visibility is addressed in different contexts. Visibility governs information selection in geographic environments as well as in information spaces and in cognition. The users of social media navigate in information spaces and at the same time, as embodied agents, they move in geographic environments. Both activities follow a similar type of information economy in which decisions by individuals or groups require a highly selective filtering to avoid information overload. In this context, visibility refers to the fact that in social processes some actors, topics or places are more salient than others. Formal notions of visibility include the centrality measures from social network analysis or the plethora of web page ranking methods. Recently, comparable approaches have been proposed to analyse activities in geographic environments: Place Rank, for instance, describes the social visibility of urban places based on the temporal sequence of tourist visit patterns. The workshop aimed to bring together researchers from AI, Geographic Information Science, Cognitive Science, and other disciplines who are interested in understanding how the different forms of visibility in information spaces and geographic environments relate to one another and how the results from basic research can be used to improve spatial search engines, geo-recommender systems or location-based social networks.
- Bartlett's schema theory: The unreplicated "portrait d'homme" series from 1932 (2012)
- In 1932, Frederic Bartlett laid the foundation for the later schema theory. His key assumption of previous knowledge affecting the processing of new stimuli was illustrated in the famous "portrait d'homme" series. Sequenced reproductions of ambiguous stimuli showed progressive object-likeness. As Bartlett pointed out, activation of specific schemata, for instance "the face schema", biases memory retrieval towards such schemata. In five experiments (Experiment 1, n = 53; Experiment 2, n = 177; Experiment 3, n = 36; Experiment 4, n = 6; Experiment 5, n = 2), we tested several factors potentially influencing retrieval biases—for example, by varying the general procedure of reproduction (repeated vs. serial) and by omitting versus providing visual or semantic cues for activating face schemata. Participants inspected face-like stimuli with the caption "portrait of the human" and reproduced them repeatedly under specific conditions. None of the experiments revealed a systematic tendency towards Bartlett's described case, even when the participants were explicitly instructed to draw "a face" like the previously inspected one. In one of the "serial reproduction" experiments, we even obtained contrary effects with decreasing face-likeness over the reproduction generations. A close analysis of the original findings raises questions about the replicability of Bartlett's findings, qualifying the "portrait d'homme" series more or less as an illustrative example of the main idea of reconstructive memory.
- All is beautiful? Generality vs. specificity of word usage in visual aesthetics (2012)
- A central problem in the literature on psychological aesthetics is a lack of precision in terminology regarding the description and measurement of aesthetic impressions. The current research project approached the problem of terminology empirically, by studying people's word usage to describe aesthetic impressions. For eight different object classes that are relevant in visual aesthetics, including visual art, landscapes, faces and different design classes, we examined which words people use to describe their aesthetic impressions, and which general conceptual dimensions might underlie similarities and differences between the classes. The results show an interplay between generality and specificity in aesthetic word usage. In line with results by Jacobsen, Buchta, Kohler, and Schroger (2004) beautiful and ugly seem to be the words with most general relevance, but in addition each object class has its own distinct pattern of relevant terms. Multidimensional scaling and correspondence analysis suggest that the most extreme positions in aesthetic word usage for the classes studied are taken by landscapes and geometric shapes and patterns. This research aims to develop a language of aesthetics for the visual modality. Such a common vocabulary should facilitate the development of cross-disciplinary models of aesthetics and create a basis for the construction of standardised aesthetic measures.
- Rigidity rather than age as a limiting factor to appreciate innovative design (2012)
- 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.
- Face adaptation effects show strong and long-lasting transfer from lab to more ecological contexts (2012)
- There's more than one way to irritation! An attempt to categorize ambiguity in art (2012)
- 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)
- Aesthetic appraisal of product designs: Independent effects of typicality and arousal (2012)
- 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.
- The Mere Exposure effect in the domain of haptics (2012)
- 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.
- Judging body-weight from faces: The height-weight illusion (2012)
- 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.