Poster Session I Friday (odd numbers)

ID Poster
Uwe C. Fischer: The Aesthete – Exploring a personality approach to Aesthetic Sensitivity

Aesthetic sensitivity is still a challenging construct to define and measure. It seems to designate a skill of putting a coloured dot in the perfect place in a special context and situation at the right time and pokes fun at those who try to find the secret generalized attributes of this sensitivity behind this action. Aesthetic sensitivity is associated with skills of artists and persons with a special sense for it in everyday life and the social construction of reality labelled them as an ‘Aesthete’. Therefore, in a first step, we started to explore the qualitative attributes of an Aesthete. 73 undergraduate psychology students were asked with a qualitative questionnaire on attributes, typical behaviours and concrete situations for Aesthetes they know. 89% knew one or more Aesthetes (Md=3; M=5.03; SD=7.48). Using the MAXQDA software for qualitative content analysis, we sorted 198 codes (of 724 segments) in hierarchical categories within five different thematic dimensions: personality attributes (28.5%); object relation (23.6%); sense for aesthetics (21.1%); behaviour (17.5%) and value system / appreciation (9.3%). Perfectionism, obsessed with detail, creativity, artistically talented, passion/obsession and sensitivity are some of the main attributes of an Aesthete. The students mentioned often and in detail the sense and awareness of aesthetics and beauty, which has a great value in the life of an Aesthete. They described them that they care for their appearance, create themselves and their environment with their style and that they prefer beautiful places. The Aesthete focuses mostly on clothing, art, interior decoration, music and fashion.
The explorative study gave first hints for additional aspects of aesthetic sensitivity from a personality view. The results will be used to develop a quantitative questionnaire to validate the qualitative data and to identify Aesthetes in combination with concrete instruments measuring aesthetic sensitivity.

Andreas Gartus: Exploring aesthetic and mixed emotions in a large data set of emotional videos

We explored the data set of Cowen and Keltner (2017;, which includes ratings of 14 affective dimensions and 34 emotion categories for a set of 2185 short emotion eliciting videos. Investigating the relations of aesthetic appreciation (one of the emotion categories) to the other affective dimensions and categories, we found support for a number of common assumptions about aesthetic emotions:
1) Plotting aesthetically appreciated videos in valence/arousal-space reveals that aesthetic appreciation is predominantly positive and covers the whole range of low to high arousal.
2) Aesthetic appreciation correlates highest with the affective dimensions of (positive) valence, safety, fairness, control, and approach. This is compatible with the assumptions that aesthetic appreciation is predominantly positive, usually takes place in a safe and controlled environment, and includes a motivational tendency of approach.
3) Co-occurrence analysis of the 34 emotion categories shows that aesthetic appreciation mostly appears together with the categories of awe, interest, entrancement, and calmness.
4) We constructed two indicators of mixed emotions: One from valence and arousal ratings and the other from the 10 most positive/negative emotion categories. With both indicators, the categories interest, excitement, amusement, and boredom show the highest correlations, while aesthetic appreciation has the 5th-highest correlation. This suggests that aesthetic appreciation includes a relatively high proportion of mixed emotions.
5) Using only the emotion categories of joy and sadness, we also constructed an indicator specifically targeting the emotion of being moved which often has been associated with aesthetic emotions. We found that aesthetic appreciation has the highest correlation of all emotion categories with this indicator.
In sum, we re-analyzed an existing large data set of videos covering a wide range of emotions, and explored the relationship of aesthetic to other emotional experiences. Our results align well with current conceptual theories of aesthetic emotions.

Chase Royer: The psychosocial effects of gender identity and their role in experiencing aesthetic states

Previous research has identified that women have a greater propensity to feel aesthetic states (Silvia & Nusbaum 2011), however genetic research has identified no genotype differences between males and females that influence the tendency of feeling aesthetic chills (Bignardi et al 2022). The aim of the current research is to investigate why this relationship between gender identity and the tendency to feel intense aesthetic states exists. To explore this relationship, a sample size of at least 200 participants will complete a battery of surveys that will assess their self-conceptualization of gender identity (Kachel et al., 2016), empathy (Reniers et al., 2011), interoception (Mehling et al., 2018), and their tendency to feel aesthetic states (Silvia & Nusbaum 2011). It is hypothesized that our results will show that participants that self-conceptualize their gender identity as more feminine will experience more aesthetic chills, however this relationship will be mediated by psychological mechanisms, empathy and interoception. This study intends to emphasize how different psychological functions manifest within various identities of the Self, and further our understanding of individual differences in subjective experiences.

Itay Goetz: Towards a virtualisation of an art experiencing context: Comparing the experience of art appreciation in a gallery and a shop context using VR

When people engage with art, they accept and even embrace feelings they tend to avoid daily. These include, among others, the experience of negative emotions, peak emotions, cognitive challenges, semantic instability, uncertainty and even immoral behaviour. Why may that be? Philosophers since Plato argued that when people engage with objects identified as art, they adopt a state of mind distinct from everyday processing. This specific state of mind affects the way people interact with these objects. Despite the central role of such a state of mind in experiencing art, there is a lack of direct evidence indicating its existence, with only a few studies testing it directly. In our VR (virtual reality) study, 32 participants freely interacted with the same nine, unfamiliar artistic pictures from a variety of styles, presented either in an art (gallery) or everyday (shop) context. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the context conditions. They were asked to qualify and describe their experiences following a think-aloud protocol through open questions. Then, participants completed the Art Reception Survey (ARS) verbally regarding each picture while in VR. Additionally, viewing times and the dynamics of viewing distances were measured. Lastly, participants completed open questions and questionnaires immediately after the VR experience and two weeks later. While the quantitative evaluative data did not reveal significant differences between the art and the non-art context, the qualitative data analysis is still ongoing. The lack of differences could have resulted from VR’s ability to create an extraordinary atmosphere that called for meaningful interaction with the pictures, even in the shop condition. Nevertheless, we believe that the methodology employed, which allowed us to collect direct and immediate, as well as longitudinal responses to art, bears great potential to provide valuable insights into the nature of the art experience.

Maria Pombo: Comfort vs. beauty of fonts

Subjective pleasure judgments about an object can come from an impression of the object (e.g., pleasure of looking at the printed page) or from an interaction with the object (e.g., pleasure of reading). Are these pleasures related? We use fonts to compare them. Each of 41 online participants completed two reading tasks for six out of twelve different fonts. Fonts ranged from very common reading fonts (e.g., Times New Roman) to unique display fonts (e.g., Extenda, which is extremely tall and narrow). The first reading task measured beauty and the second measured comfort. In the beauty task, participants looked at a short excerpt of Lorem Ipsum text in a particular font, a Latin text intended to demonstrate the visual form of a typeface. They then rated, on a 1-to-7 scale, how much beauty they felt from the font. In the second reading task, participants read a short excerpt from the children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth. Afterward, they rated, on a 1-to-7 scale, how comfortable it was to read the excerpt. They also provided written descriptions of what it was like to read that font. Results indicate that beauty and comfort are not correlated (r = 0.02, p = 0.76). On average, display fonts were less comfortable despite having similar mean beauty values. Beauty ratings also differed across age and sex. Overall, our results indicate that the pleasure obtained from the utility of a font (comfort of reading) is different than the pleasure obtained from its aesthetic evaluation (beauty of looking).

Youna Park: The utility of semantic distance in the development of the remote associates test

The research on creative cognition has increased in recent decades, including the studies of measurement development. The Remote Associates Test (RAT) is a measure of creative cognition, tapping into the ability of making associations between concepts. The most common version of the task is the linguistic Compound RAT (cRAT), which requires the participants to create compound words based on the given stimuli words. Due to the rationale of the task, the cRAT is dependent on linguistic abilities and provides an advantage for native speakers. Alternative for the cRAT is to ask participants to associate concepts based on sematic relationships (functional RAT; fRAT). In these tasks, the stimuli can be presented either with words or with images (visual RAT; vRAT). Some recent studies have investigated the use of visual-based stimuli in comparison to linguistic tasks (Olteteanu and Zunjani, 2019; Toivainen et al., 2018). The studies have reported moderate positive correlations between the linguistic and visual forms of the task.
To develop the vRAT further, and to investigate the relationship between the linguistic and visual forms of the RAT, this study utilises the concept of semantic distance in the creation of additional items for the fRAT. Semantic distance provides a numerical reference point for the creation of stimuli words with increasing difficulty. The fRAT items, both linguistic and visual, will be then administered to the participants. The study will answer to the following research questions. First, are the test scores associated with the semantic distance scores ? Second, what is the association between linguistic and visual version of the fRAT (e.g., to what extent are they measuring the same underlying ability)?
The results from the study will improve the measurement of creative cognition and provide insights into the role of visual and linguistic processing in the ability to make remote associations.

Shino Okuda: Preferable lighting conditions for deteriorated paintings – Focus on Ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock print

Recently, LED lighting, which doesn’t contain ultraviolet radiation, has been introduced for lighting in museums. However, the colour appearance of artworks under LED light sources may be different from that under conventional light sources such as fluorescent lamps for different spectral distributions even with the same color temperature. To clarify the effects of differences in the colour and spectral distribution of LED illumination light on the appearance and desirability of the colours of ukiyo-e paintings, a subjective evaluation experiment was conducted under different deterioration levels. In the experiment, the Ukiyo-e print “Mitate hashi zukushi Nihonbashi,” (private collection) produced by Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) was selected as the visual target. The painting was forcefully deteriorated using a solar irradiation system, and three images at different levels of deterioration were selected as the target images. We measured the 2D-spectral reflectance values of the images with 2D-spectral radiometer and created simulated images under 24 different lighting conditions with different CCT (from yellowish to blueish white light), duv (from reddish to greenish white light) and spectral distributions at an illuminance of 200 lx, and 72 digital images were created in total. Participants observed each digital image and rated colour appearance for ‘vividness of red’, ‘vividness of purple’, ‘unnaturalness of the painting’ and ‘feeling of oldness’ with a numerical scale from 0 to 10. They also evaluated the impression with SD method using nine adjective pairs, and ‘preference of paintings. The results showed that under the greenish 4000K lighting, the images look older than that under the reddish 3000K lighting. Also, lighting with blue and yellow spectral distribution tended to look this artwork older than that with red-green-blue spectral distribution. Moreover, the beautiful impression was also acquired under slightly reddish 3000K to 5000K lighting conditions.
*This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 18KK0282.

Alexandra Alvarez: The influence of semantic context on contemporary art evaluation and valuation

Questions about aesthetic valuation of an artwork with text-based information in a real-world context such as market value of museum qualifications, collecting properties, and socio-cultural merit have been overlooked in previous scientific inquiry. Furthermore, the use of artworks made by and contemporary artists outside the established canon as a stimulus in aesthetic evaluation have been largely excluded from scientific investigation ( Chatterjee and Bromberg 2014). We propose a study that will provide an experiment with ecological validity as it simulates the current art viewing experience in the 2023 global art market economy as well as primes for the enhancement of museum context of art evaluation (Brieber 2015) . In this investigation we will mimic an art exhibition where participants will be gallery goers will evaluate unique artworks and ascribe value, as well as have the option to collect, after choosing to reading information about them. This study will look at how semantic context about artists and artworks effects viewers aesthetic evaluations of likeness beauty interestingness as well as how engagement influence’s market valuation which will be measured by questionnaire about the stimulus’s the appropriateness in a museum setting, desire to be collected, and the social impact. The type of text viewers can engage with will be either no text, text about the artist, text about the technique, or text about both the artist and the technique. The investigators will work with the six participating artists to create the two types of text used, artist context and technique context. This behaviour with an EEG component study will also consider if artistic style influences engagement, as well as evaluation and valuation ratings as well as investigate if there is cognitive activity in areas associated with mind wandering, narrative engagement, and aesthetic judgements in museum context in no text and text context conditions.

Cehao Yu: Uncovering the asymmetry between morning and evening depiction and perception in paintings

The appearance of the sky, and the characteristics of daylight more generally, fluctuate with the shifting seasons and changing time of day. If the sun’s elevation were the only contributing factor, morning and evening light would be the same. Yet the spectral and spatial characteristics of natural illumination depend on other factors. Painters have long acknowledged and exploited these effects. For example, Willem Beurs, in his 17th century treatise on how to paint the sky “and its play on landscape and water” observed that the morning sky is cool and misty, after a cold night, while the evening sky, still carrying the warmth of the day, is warmer and drier. He also mentioned that warmer skies appear thinner, while colder skies appear thicker and more uniform. Here, we examine the differences in image statistics between paintings explicitly labelled morning vs. evening, and compare these with people’s perceptions of the depicted time of day. We collected 90 outdoor paintings from Western European artists between the 17th and 20th centuries, with explicit morning or evening titles (metadata-classification). Participants rated the paintings as either morning or evening (observer-classification). We compared the relationships between image statistics based on chromaticity and luminance, and the metadata- and perceptual-classifications respectively. Our findings reveal subtle luminance differences and more pronounced chromaticity variations between the metadata-classified morning and evening depictions. Chromaticity differences are more evident in observer-classified paintings than in metadata classifications, suggesting that chromaticity plays a key role in distinguishing between the two. Observers generally perceive “bluer” paintings as depicting morning, consistent with the paintings’ metadata. Morning depictions often include mists, resulting in neutral, whitish airlight chromaticity, while evening airlight chromaticity varies from bluish to reddish hues. Our study highlights the painting features influencing time-of-day perception and emphasizes chromaticity’s role in differentiating between morning and evening artistic representations.

Ralf Bartho: Comparing image datasets for visual aesthetics research: Exploring the predictability of beauty, liking, and aesthetic quality

The field of experimental and computational aesthetics has generated numerous image datasets over the last two decades. In the present study, we have selected twelve such datasets that include traditional or abstract paintings, photographs, or AI-generated images along with corresponding aesthetically related ratings such as ‘beauty’, ‘liking’, or ‘aesthetic quality’. Our objective is to evaluate the reproducibility of results across these datasets. Specifically, we investigate how consistently aesthetic ratings can be predicted using either A) a set of 20 statistical image features or B) the layers of a convolutional neural network trained for object recognition. Our findings suggest some similarities between groups of datasets, but also substantial differences in effect sizes. The explained variance of aesthetic ratings ranges from 4 to 24%. Interestingly, both the statistical image features and the top layers of the convolutional neural network can predict aesthetic ratings with similar accuracy. We find a high degree of overlap between the image information captured by the statistical image properties and the neural network, as well as some unique features. Overall, our study calls into question the generalizability of previous findings that rely on a single dataset. The discrepancies in results across the datasets examined underscore the importance of evaluating the reproducibility of results across multiple datasets to enhance the validity of research findings in the field of experimental and computational aesthetic.

Mario De Angelis: To show that the painter was there. Embodied simulation and cognitive ambiguity in the work of Pierre Bonnard (1910 – 1947).

The contribution aims to provide a brief demonstration of how an integrated approach of art history, phenomenology of the visible and neuroaesthetics can provide us with a novel key to the mature production of Pierre Bonnard (1920 – 1947). More specifically, starting from a close observation of the works and some of the artist’s notes hitherto neglected by critics, the analysis will be condensed around two case studies: in the first, centred on the large oil painting Le Grand Nu Bleu (1924), an attempt will be made to account for the painter’s tendency to graft the viewer in the first person onto his body (e.g. La Fenêtre, 1924). e.g. La Fenêtre, 1925, Le Jardin, 1936; Marthe au tub [photographie],1908) and/or on that of his favourite model and life companion Marthe de Méligny (e.g. Nu dans le bain, 1925, Dans la salle de bains, 1940). To this end, in addition to a comparison with the contemporary epistemological reflections of Mach, Bergson and Merleau-Ponty, it will also be necessary to take into consideration the theoretical-empirical investigations of Freedberg and Gallese on ’embodied simulation’ and the recent meditations on the subject of the affects by J.L Nancy and Didi-Huberman. In the second case, on the other hand, using the painting La Source (1917) as the pivot of the investigation and integrating some reflections on the thematisation of the spectator’s gaze in figurative art (Fried, Wolheim, Stoichita) with the recent empirical literature on the fusiform face area of the brain and the so-called “neural-filling in” process (Zeki), we will try to deepen the particular research that Bonnard conducts on the human and animal gaze – or rather on its directional and emotional opacification -, with particular attention to the consequences on the reception of the work.

Anne C. Kleindienst: Say h(a)i to kawaii: Exploring a popular aesthetic concept from Japan

Kawaii (かわいい) is an increasingly popular aesthetic phenomenon from Japan that is often simply translated as “cute”:sweet”, or “lovely”. Can all various connotations of kawaii be captured in one word exhaustively? What characteristics are connected to the kawaii aesthetic? We conducted an online study to learn more about kawaii semantics. Initially, students from Kanazawa University (Japan) were asked to take pictures of anything representing their personal notion of kawaii. Thirty of these photos with a broad variety of motifs (e.g. animals, flowers, food, makeup, mascots) were included in the survey as visual stimuli. A total of 106 undergraduate students (54 females, 49 males, 3 divers) from Kanazawa University aged between 18 and 22 years (M=19.14 yrs., SD=1.45) volunteered to participate. First, everyone rated three pictures and subsequently the term kawaii on a modified semantic differential with 60 (for pictures), 59 (for term) respectively, possibly related dimensions. For each dimension a unipolar 7-point Likert-scale (1=not at all; 7=very much) was used. Results indicated that the pictures were indeed perceived as very kawaii (M=5.14, SD=1.70) and cute (M=5.08, SD=1.67). Furthermore, the term kawaii was strongly associated with dimensions like cute, heartily, soothing, and liking, while being clearly not associated with strong, fast, heavy, disliking, bad, threatening, ugly, masculine, worthless, old-fashioned, hard, cold, sad, and creepy. Our findings suggest that cuteness and kawaii are indeed closely related concepts in Japan. The pictures evaluated reflect the Japanese kawaii concept well, yet show a large variety of different features and motifs – some of which may not appear “cute” by German standards (e.g. decorative arrangements, makeup). With the term “kawaii” recently entering German language, we assume that it will be a worthwhile task for future research to explore the perception and semantics of “kawaii” under a cross-cultural perspective.

Benjamin Griebel: ASMR: An initial classification system of media regarding autonomous sensory meridian responses

A wide variety of sociocultural trends continuously flanks the globally expanding digitization. The ongoing enthusiasm for so-called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos that are described as having the potential to trigger very strong thrills and chills, often termed “head orgasms”, needs rigorous scientific testing which has not yet unfolded on a large scale. Moreover, the sheer huge amount of videos with an extreme variety of different types of ASMR videos calls for a transparent classification system as ASMR as such was never properly defined by science but is a term that emerged from the producing community itself. We initiated such a classification system by selecting the 100 most viewed ASMR videos and classified them by employing an extensive list of items which was dynamically expanded while inspecting all the material. The number of views ranged from 4.6 mill. to 419 mill. (M=28.3 mill.) illustrating the immense impact these videos have. The duration of videos (short videos < 4 min. were excluded as they are not in accord with the community’s goal to calm people) differed clearly but the mean of 34:47 minutes indicates decoupling from recent media trends towards ultra-short videos. Contentwise, we detected a strong focus on food topics (48%). In 21% of these videos, a distinctive camera angle is used, showing the protagonist from the mouth down to the shoulders, which inhibits a natural holistic face processing, as the face must be largely imagined. The selective processing of the mouth area potentially increases the degree of perceived artificiality. The videos showed a remarkable bias towards a strong aestheticized frame with artificially arranged environments (86%) and highly made-up protagonists (76%). Our data analysis is ongoing, including the the specific usage of camera and microphone, and other perceptually relevant properties known to impact the aesthetic appreciation from movie research.

Daria Makurat: The impact of the dynamism of painting images on the aesthetic experience and flow state of art recipients- research proposal

Aesthetic experience is a vast, yet new subject of scientific research. Studies consider how people react to art, what artistic preferences they have or is there a link between aesthetic perception and personality. The concept of aesthetic experience that we want to use in this study is that proposed by Csikszentmihalyi and Robinson, which states that aesthetic experience involves not only the reception of art but also the experience of flow. In this work, we want to further investigate this direction to see how the dynamism of the paintings influences the aesthetic experience and flow state appearing in the viewers. The flow state is usually abdicated in terms of creating something, and there is a lack of research concerning the state of flow during an activity such as viewing specific pictures. We would like to fill this gap in art research and explore how the flow changes when watching specific works. The study will include two sessions. During the first session participants will fill a questionnaire about the usually emerging aesthetic experience and the state of flow- Aesthetic Experience Questionnaire. After that, participants will display twelve selected paintings in random order on the laptop screen. They will then complete a shortened version of the AEQ for each painting. While viewing the images, the examined person will wear an HRV device in order to measure heart rate variability and eye-tracking device will collect data to explore patterns in static and dynamic paintings. These methods will help in the objective assessment of the flow state of the viewer. The second meeting will consist in completing questionnaires regarding personality traits, creativity and aesthetic sensitivity. The results of the study may help to understand how we perceive works of art due to their dynamics in places such as museums.

Kirren Chana: The aesthetics of human-made components within urban environments: A scoping review

This poster presents the key findings from a scoping review conducted about aesthetic components in the urban environment. The urban environment has been explored from an array of fields, but with different approaches – some scientific research has placed an emphasis on greenspaces, usability, or general aspects of design. However, the importance and extent to which aesthetic aspects have been considered within this research it is not yet clear. With the notion of urban aesthetics gaining popularity as a research topic, we aim to obtain a more comprehensive overview of how and which components have been investigated in the existing literature. Moreover, given the widespread literature centring on wellbeing in our cities, a further interest is the extent to which wellbeing outcomes have been considered for such aesthetic components within the urban environment. Thus, to gain a deeper understanding as to how urban environments are explored through the lens of aesthetics, we identify what components of the urban environment are considered, how they have been aesthetically evaluated, and whether they have any wellbeing benefits.

Corinna Kühnapfel & Joerg Fingerhut: Art as intervention in the city: On the effects of a street-level gallery exhibition on neighbourhood connectedness, satisfaction and psychological wellbeing

Publically visible art can stop us in our tracks. It offers us affordances to emotionally engage, to reflect or reorientate. This holds for public monuments, murals, but also for publicly available street-level gallery art. In our study we assessed whether an open, street-level exhibition in Gallery Wedding, Berlin, altered visitors’ connection to, and satisfaction with their neighborhood, subjective wellbeing and empathic concern. The exhibition (“Job Center. Psychic Places,” artist: Emily Hunt, curator: Solvej H. Ovesen) aimed to re-mediate the relation to the surrounding neighborhood. We stopped by-passers to engage with the exhibition and assessed their attitudes pre-post the experience. They also had to aesthetically evaluate the exhibition. Preliminary results show that after engaging the exhibition, participants (N = 64) felt significantly more connected to the neighborhood and had improved subjective wellbeing. We also assessed the curator’s and artist’s intended emotions. Here we found that when visitors felt the artists’ intended emotions more, they exhibited higher subjective wellbeing and empathic concern after the exhibition. For our presentation, we will adress also the subjective aesthetic evaluation of the art (as good, meaningful, etc.) and how it mediated the above effects. We will relate this to previous research and discuss both our method and the results with respect to the transformative potential of urban art.