The Development of Shared Liking of Representational but not Abstract Art in Primary School Children and Their Justifications for Liking

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/595862
Title:
The Development of Shared Liking of Representational but not Abstract Art in Primary School Children and Their Justifications for Liking
Authors:
Rodway, Paul ( 0000-0002-7667-6782 ) ; Kirkham, Julie A.; Schepman, Astrid ( 0000-0002-7407-362x ) ; Lambert, Jordana; Locke, Anastasia
Abstract:
Understanding how aesthetic preferences are shared among individuals, and its developmental time course, is a fundamental question in aesthetics. It has been shown that semantic associations, in response to representational artworks, overlap more strongly among individuals than those generated by abstract artworks and that the emotional valence of the associations also overlaps more for representational artworks. This valence response may be a key driver in aesthetic appreciation. The current study tested predictions derived from the semantic association account in a developmental context. Twenty 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-year-old children (n = 80) were shown 20 artworks (10 representational, 10 abstract) and were asked to rate each artwork and to explain their decision. Cross-observer agreement in aesthetic preferences increased with age from 4–8 years for both abstract and representational art. However, after age 6 the level of shared appreciation for representational and abstract artworks diverged, with significantly higher levels of agreement for representational than abstract artworks at age 8 and 10. The most common justifications for representational artworks involved subject matter, while for abstract artworks formal artistic properties and color were the most commonly used justifications. Representational artwork also showed a significantly higher proportion of associations and emotional responses than abstract artworks. In line with predictions from developmental cognitive neuroscience, references to the artist as an agent increased between ages 4 and 6 and again between ages 6 and 8, following the development of Theory of Mind. The findings support the view that increased experience with representational content during the life span reduces inter-individual variation in aesthetic appreciation and increases shared preferences. In addition, brain and cognitive development appear to impact on art appreciation at milestone ages.
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
Rodway, P., Kirkham J., Schepman, A., Lambert, J., Locke, A. (2016). The development of shared liking of representational but not abstract art in primary school children and their justifications for liking. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10(21). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021
Publisher:
Frontiers
Journal:
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication Date:
5-Feb-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/595862
DOI:
10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021
Additional Links:
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021/full
Type:
Article
Language:
en_US
Description:
This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission
ISSN:
1662-5161
Sponsors:
Internal QR Grant to the first three authors, University of Chester.
Appears in Collections:
Psychology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorRodway, Paulen
dc.contributor.authorKirkham, Julie A.en
dc.contributor.authorSchepman, Astriden
dc.contributor.authorLambert, Jordanaen
dc.contributor.authorLocke, Anastasiaen
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-08T12:07:21Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-08T12:07:21Zen
dc.date.issued2016-02-05en
dc.identifier.citationRodway, P., Kirkham J., Schepman, A., Lambert, J., Locke, A. (2016). The development of shared liking of representational but not abstract art in primary school children and their justifications for liking. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10(21). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021en
dc.identifier.issn1662-5161en
dc.identifier.doi10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/595862en
dc.descriptionThis Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permissionen
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding how aesthetic preferences are shared among individuals, and its developmental time course, is a fundamental question in aesthetics. It has been shown that semantic associations, in response to representational artworks, overlap more strongly among individuals than those generated by abstract artworks and that the emotional valence of the associations also overlaps more for representational artworks. This valence response may be a key driver in aesthetic appreciation. The current study tested predictions derived from the semantic association account in a developmental context. Twenty 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-year-old children (n = 80) were shown 20 artworks (10 representational, 10 abstract) and were asked to rate each artwork and to explain their decision. Cross-observer agreement in aesthetic preferences increased with age from 4–8 years for both abstract and representational art. However, after age 6 the level of shared appreciation for representational and abstract artworks diverged, with significantly higher levels of agreement for representational than abstract artworks at age 8 and 10. The most common justifications for representational artworks involved subject matter, while for abstract artworks formal artistic properties and color were the most commonly used justifications. Representational artwork also showed a significantly higher proportion of associations and emotional responses than abstract artworks. In line with predictions from developmental cognitive neuroscience, references to the artist as an agent increased between ages 4 and 6 and again between ages 6 and 8, following the development of Theory of Mind. The findings support the view that increased experience with representational content during the life span reduces inter-individual variation in aesthetic appreciation and increases shared preferences. In addition, brain and cognitive development appear to impact on art appreciation at milestone ages.en
dc.description.sponsorshipInternal QR Grant to the first three authors, University of Chester.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherFrontiersen
dc.relation.urlhttp://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00021/fullen
dc.subjectEmpirical aestheticsen
dc.subjectDevelopmental Psychologyen
dc.titleThe Development of Shared Liking of Representational but not Abstract Art in Primary School Children and Their Justifications for Likingen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
dc.identifier.journalFrontiers in Human Neuroscienceen
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