Emotional responses to art: From collation and arousal to cognition and emotion.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Emotions and art are intimately related (Tan, 2000). From ancient to modern times, theories of aesthetics have emphasized the role of art in evoking, shaping, and modifying human feelings. The experimental study of preferences, evaluations, and feelings related to art has a long history in psychology. Aesthetics is one of the oldest areas of psychological research, dating to Fechner's (1876) landmark work. Psychology has had a steady interest in aesthetic problems since then, but art has never received as much attention as one would expect (see Berlyne, 1971a; Tan, 2000; Valentine, 1962). The study of art and the study of emotions, as areas of scientific inquiry, both languished during much of the last century. It is not surprising that the behavioral emphasis on observable action over inner experience would lead to a neglect of research on aesthetics. In an interesting coincidence, both art and emotion resurfaced in psychology at about the same time. As emotion psychologists began developing theories of basic emotions (Ekman & Friesen, 1971; Izard, 1971; Tomkins, 1962), experimental psychologists began tackling hedonic qualities of art (Berlyne, 1971a, 1972, 1974). Since then, the psychology of emotion and the psychology of art have had little contact (see Silvia, in press-b; Tan, 2000).

Additional Information

Review of General Psychology, 9, 342-357
Language: English
Date: 2005
Aesthetics, Emotion, Art

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