Tuesday 22 November 2016 – Lunchtime seminar with Professor Galina Paramei (Psychology, Liverpool Hope University)

Image of Professor Galina Paramei

Professor Galina Paramei

Speaker: Professor Galina Paramei (Department of Psychology, Liverpool Hope University)
Title: Art expertise in construing meaning of representational and abstract artworks

Professor Galina Paramei’s research focuses primarily on colour vision: modelling colour perception in variant forms of colour vision; chromatic discrimination across the lifespan; changes in colour appearance caused by luminance variation; cross-cultural and bilingual studies of colour naming and colour categorisation. Another (non-mainstream) line of her research is related to cognitive mechanisms of perception of emotional facial expressions and of aesthetic appraisal of visual stimuli.

Perception of art implies elaboration – visual, affective and semantic. We asked whether and how art expertise affects aesthetic appreciation of artworks. Arts students (N=30; experts) and Psychology students (N=33, non-experts) rated 12 Representational and 12 Abstract paintings, all from 1900-1935, on six evaluative / affective semantic differential scales. Relative to non-experts, experts rated Abstract artworks as more Interesting, Beautiful, Informative and Sophisticated, distinguishing them less markedly from Representational artworks. Factor analysis resulted in a two-factor solution. The first factor, contrasting Abstract and Representational paintings, appeared more salient for non-experts. In contrast, the second factor, Warm-Cool, separating vibrantly-coloured paintings from those with a blue-dominated/dull palette, was more salient for experts. While non-experts exaggerated differences between Abstract and Representational paintings, experts appraised these two types of art similarly, attending more to artwork collative properties. We conclude that appreciation of art by experts involves ‘cognitive mastery’ (Leder et al., 2004), viz. more complex, cues-based visual schemata which equip art experts with more sophisticated strategies for parsing ‘visual rightness’ (“good” structural organisation) from an image to construe its visual meaning.

1.00PM – 2.00PM

See here for details of other seminars in the series.

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email C3RI Administrator to arrange entry.