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Slobodan Markovic; Basic dimensions of subjective experience of beauty. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.52.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The purpose of the present study was to specify the underlying structure of subjective experience of beauty. In preliminary study 1 a set of twelve photographs of various visual objects and scenes was selected (humans, animals, landscapes, buildings etc). In preliminary study 2 a set of eighty representative descriptors of subjective experience of beauty was selected (e.g. pleasant, elegant, cute, magnificent etc). In the main study twenty-one participants judged twelve stimuli using a check-list of eighty descriptors. Using Osgood’s ‘stringing-out’ method a unique matrix of judgments was created. A factor analysis (principal component method plus Promax rotation) extracted six basic dimensions: Cuteness (most saturated descriptors: cute, sweet, nice, tender, etc), Fascination (fascinating, fantastic, fabulous, delightful, etc), Grandiosity (grandiose, eternal, monumental, magnificent, etc), Elegance (elegant, sophisticated, graceful, neat, etc), Relaxation (relaxed, calm, idyllic, peaceful, etc) and Attractiveness (attractive, handsome, seductive, satisfying, etc). The relationship between these dimensions was specified through a Multidimensional scaling analysis of their inter-correlations. A two-dimensional solution revealed the dimensions which could be identified with two aspects of emotions. Dimension 1 referred to hedonic tone. It included two clusters on its poles: (1) Cuteness, Relaxation and Attraction on the positive pole (higher hedonic tone) and (2) Grandiosity, Elegance and Fascination on the negative pole (moderate hedonic tone). Dimension 2 referred to arousal. It encompassed two clusters: (1) Attraction and Fascination on the positive pole (higher arousal), and (2) Elegance and Relaxation on the negative pole (lower arousal). These results suggested that the complexity of the experience of beauty (six dimensions) could be reduced to two more basic aspects, that is hedonic tone and arousal.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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