Brill Online
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Aesthetic Judgements of Abstract Dynamic Configurations

posted on 2015-04-13, 10:05 authored by Damien Wright, Marco Bertamini

To date, aesthetic preference for abstract patterns has mainly been examined in the relation to static
stimuli. However, dynamic art forms (e.g., motion pictures, kinetic art) are arguably more powerful
in producing emotional responses. To start the exploration of aesthetic preferences for dynamic
stimuli (stripped of meaning and context) we conducted three experiments. Symmetrical or random configurations were created. Each line element had a local rotation, and the whole configuration also underwent a global transformation (horizontal translation, rotation, expansion, horizontal shear). Participants provided explicit preference ratings for these patterns. As expected results showed a preference for dynamic symmetrical patterns over random. When global transformations were compared, expansion was the preferred dynamic transformation whilst participants liked the horizontal shear transformation the least. Overall, these results show that preference for symmetry persists and is enhanced for dynamic stimuli, and that there are systematic preferences for global transformations.