Empirical Approaches to Studying Art Experience

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Title of the Journal: Journal of perceptual imaging : JPI
ISSN: 2575-8144
Corporate Body: Society for Imaging Science and Technology
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Pages: 10501-1-10501-7
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.2352/J.Percept.Imaging.2019.2.1.010501
Art experience means the rich experience of artistic objects that are mostly embedded in situational, social, and cultural contexts: for instance when encountering art in art galleries or museums. Art experience lets us reflect on the content, the style, and the artist behind the artwork—moreover, it lets us reflect about the percept, perception, the world, ultimately: about us. Current works in the field of empirical aesthetics unfortunately often ignore context factors that are so important for such deep and far-reaching experiences. Here I intend to refer to the different paths of measuring art experience via Path #1 by testing within the ecological valid context of art galleries via field studies, via Path #2 by simulating certain contextual and perceptual factors in a lab-oriented study design and via Path #3 by testing art-related material in labs without paying attention to such factors. The way we research art experience drastically changes the quality and nature of the output, especially if we ignore certain essential factors which are typically involved when encountering art galleries in real life via Path #3—mainly because participants do not show the typical motivation, interest and effort which they would typically face in art galleries. Furthermore, because the depiction quality of artworks, the context and the social situation in which they are inspected is fundamentally different in the lab, the respective impression is also very different. As most research ignores such factors, we might often be misled by the results of such studies; especially when the extraordinary and unique cultural status that makes artworks so different to ordinary objects is ignored. The paper aims to guide researchers in finding the right study paradigm and best measures to answer their regarding research questions most adequately.
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/57608
Release Date: 12. January 2023
Project: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2012-2020