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Reappraising Abstract Paintings after Exposure to Background Information

Park, Seongmin A. and Yun, Kyongsik and Jeong, Jaeseung (2015) Reappraising Abstract Paintings after Exposure to Background Information. PLoS ONE, 10 (5). Art. No. e0124159. ISSN 1932-6203. PMCID PMC4422661.

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Can knowledge help viewers when they appreciate an artwork? Experts’ judgments of the aesthetic value of a painting often differ from the estimates of naïve viewers, and this phenomenon is especially pronounced in the aesthetic judgment of abstract paintings. We compared the changes in aesthetic judgments of naïve viewers while they were progressively exposed to five pieces of background information. The participants were asked to report their aesthetic judgments of a given painting after each piece of information was presented. We found that commentaries by the artist and a critic significantly increased the subjective aesthetic ratings. Does knowledge enable experts to attend to the visual features in a painting and to link it to the evaluative conventions, thus potentially causing different aesthetic judgments? To investigate whether a specific pattern of attention is essential for the knowledge-based appreciation, we tracked the eye movements of subjects while viewing a painting with a commentary by the artist and with a commentary by a critic. We observed that critics’ commentaries directed the viewers’ attention to the visual components that were highly relevant to the presented commentary. However, attention to specific features of a painting was not necessary for increasing the subjective aesthetic judgment when the artists’ commentary was presented. Our results suggest that at least two different cognitive mechanisms may be involved in knowledge-guided aesthetic judgments while viewers reappraise a painting.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle Information Information
Yun, Kyongsik0000-0002-6103-7187
Additional Information:© 2015 Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: June 24, 2013; Accepted: March 12, 2015; Published: May 6, 2015. Academic Editor: Samuel G. Solomon, University College London, UNITED KINGDOM. This work was supported by the Chung Moon Soul Research Center for Bioinformation and Bioelectronics in KAIST, the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korean government (grant numbers R01-2007-000-21094-0, M10644000028-06N4400-02810; grant numbers 20090093897, 20090083561). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: SAP KY JJ. Performed the experiments: SAP KY. Analyzed the data: SAP. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: SAP KY. Wrote the paper: SAP JJ. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)UNSPECIFIED
Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF)R01-2007-000-21094-0
Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF)M10644000028-06N4400-02810
Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF)20090093897
Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF)20090083561
Issue or Number:5
PubMed Central ID:PMC4422661
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150604-132812967
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Official Citation:Park SA, Yun K, Jeong J (2015) Reappraising Abstract Paintings after Exposure to Background Information. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0124159. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124159
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58007
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:04 Jun 2015 20:56
Last Modified:03 Aug 2020 22:43

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