July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Interaction Between Visual and Conceptual Processing in Art Appreciation
Author Affiliations
  • Gabriela Duran
    University of Arizona\nUniversidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez
  • Mary A. Peterson
    University of Arizona
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1307. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.1307
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      Gabriela Duran, Mary A. Peterson; Interaction Between Visual and Conceptual Processing in Art Appreciation. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1307. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.1307.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Understanding the interaction between titles and artworks can both increase our understanding of artistic appreciation, and reveal how semantic and visual processing interact. Previous studies had shown that in contrast with descriptive titles, elaborative titles increase understanding of artwork (Mills, 2001; Leder, Carbon, Rispas, 2006). However, there is no consensus on the impact of elaborative titles on liking and interest, essential components of art appreciation. For the present study we measured the effect of elaborative titles on liking and interest using John Gutmann’s artistic photographs and their corresponding elaborative titles. In Experiment 1 art novices rated photographs with either (1) elaborative titles, (2) descriptive titles (developed by the researcher), or (3) without titles (counterbalanced across participants) during two blocks. Ratings from the first block showed that images with elaborative titles (p = .036) or without titles (p = .003) were rated as more interesting and were liked more than images with descriptive titles, demonstrating that redundancy of semantic information from image and title reduced art appreciation. There were no differences between the elaborative and the without-title conditions (p =.449) showing that elaborative titles did not necessarily increase participants’ appreciation of photographs. Ratings were reduced from the first to the second exposure (p =.045). In Experiment 2, art novices first rated all photographs without titles, and then rated them again either without titles or with descriptive or elaborative titles. Under these conditions, photographs with elaborative titles were rated as more interesting than photographs with descriptive (p = .012) or without titles (p <.001), although they were not liked more (p = .203). That conceptual information in elaborative titles increases interest across repetition but does not necessarily increase liking suggests that different mental processes support interest in and liking of art.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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