The Aesthetic Aha : On the pleasure of having insights into Gestalt.

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Muth, Claudia 
Title of the Journal: Acta Psychologica : international journal of psychonomics
ISSN: 1873-6297
Publisher Information: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Year of publication: 2013
Volume: 144
Issue: 1
Pages: 25-30
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.05.001
Are challenging stimuli appreciated due to perceptual insights during elaboration? Drawing on the literature regarding aesthetic appreciation, several approaches can be identified. For instance, fluency of processing as well as perceptual challenge are supposed to increase appreciation: One group (Reber, Schwarz, & Winkielman, 2004) claims that fluency of processing increases appreciation. Others link aesthetics to engagement: Creation and manipulation of sense itself should be rewarding (Ramachandran & Hirstein, 1999). We experimentally tested the influence of insights during elaboration on liking. Pairs of stimuli – hardly detectable two-tone images including a face (Mooney face) and meaningless stimuli matched for complexity – were presented repeatedly. Having an insight as well as the intensity of the insight predicted subsequent gains in liking. This paper qualifies the role of insight (—aha!) on aesthetic appreciation through the effects of elaboration and problem-solving on understanding the processing of modern art.
Keywords: Aesthetics Aha insight Gestalt Face perception Ambiguity Elaboration
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 4. November 2013