4 years ago

The Ambiguity of Artworks -A Guideline for Empirical Aesthetics Research with Artworks as Stimuli.

Gregor U Hayn-Leichsenring
The aim of this work is to provide researchers from the field of aesthetics with a guideline on working with artworks as stimuli. Empirical aesthetics research is complicated by the uncertainty of the object of research. There is no way to unquestionably tell whether an object is an artwork or not. However, although the extension of the term artwork (i.e., the range of objects to which this concept applies) remains vague, the different intensions of the term artwork (i.e., the internal concept that constitutes a formal definition) are well defined. Here, I review the various concepts of artworks (i.e., intensions) that scientists from different fields use in current research in empirical aesthetics. The selection of stimuli is often not explained and/or does not match the focus of the study. An application of two or more intensions within one study leads to an indeterminacy of the stimuli and, thus, to systematic problems concerning the interpretation and comparability of the experimental results. Based on these intensions and the Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking (Graf and Landwehr, 2015), I compiled a decision tree in order to provide researchers with an instrument that allows a better control over their stimuli.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01857

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01857

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