Here is something really interesting I came across.....
A theory (see below which is basically saying that things that are easily understood and processed are experienced as pleasurable. We like simple harmonious things because they are easy to process. Hmmmm. food for thought....
Order vs. Chaos.
we individually experience as beauty is informed by our thoughts and
preconceptions of beauty so it can inborn (evolutionary) or
familiar/culture specific (acquired/ trained into our brains).
sensation have a strong effect: The less we expect in the perceived
object and with greater easy that we perceive it the more we enjoy it
and the more it affects us.
dynamics are perceived as beautiful because of our upbringing and
biological evolution, the more complex the patterns and out
understanding the less easily we perceive it as beautiful.
harmonic designs and symmetry are more easily understood immediately by
the brain and therefore complex design is more harder to perceive and
understand easily and is thus less beautiful.
So beauty is how we perceive a stimulus and what experience the effect has on us.
" In this theory, beauty is seen as an experience that has nothing to do
with artistic merit: Beautiful works of art may be without any merit
whereas good art is not necessarily beautiful."
Processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure
is a theory in psychological aesthetics on how people experience beauty
. Processing fluency
is the ease with which information is processed in the human mind. The theory
is based on four basic assumptions:
- Objects differ in the fluency with which they can be processed.
Variables that facilitate fluent processing include objective features
of stimuli, like goodness of form, symmetry, figure-ground contrast, as
well as experience with a stimulus, for example repeated exposure or
- Processing fluency is itself hedonically marked (that is, it
possesses an inherent affective quality) and high fluency is
subjectively experienced as positive.
- In line with the "feelings-as-information" account,
processing fluency feeds into judgments of aesthetic appreciation
because people draw on their subjective experience in making evaluative
judgments, unless the informational value of the experience is called
- The impact of fluency is moderated by expectations and attribution.
On one hand, fluency has a particularly strong impact on affective
experience if its source is unknown and fluent processing comes as a
surprise. On the other hand, the fluency-based affective experience is
discounted as a source of relevant information when the perceiver
attributes the experience to an irrelevant source. This helps explain
the inverted U-shaped function often found in research on the effect of
complexity on preferences:
very complex patterns are not judged as beautiful because they are
disfluent, and patterns are judged as more beautiful when they become
less complex. When viewers perceive a simple pattern, they are often
able to detect the source of fluency—the pattern's simplicity—and do not
use this experience of ease for judging the beauty of the pattern.
The processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure emphasizes the
interaction between the viewer and an object in that it integrates
theories and a wide range of empirical evidence that focus on effects of
objective stimulus attributes on perceived beauty
with those that emphasize the role of experience, for example by invoking prototypicality.
In this theory, beauty is seen as an experience that has nothing to do
with artistic merit: Beautiful works of art may be without any merit
whereas good art is not necessarily beautiful.
The theory resolves the apparent paradox of inborn and acquired
preferences. For instance, infants prefer consonant melodies. According
to the fluency account, this is because infants share perceptual
equipment that make them process consonance in music more easily than
dissonance. When children grow up, they are exposed to the music of
their culture, resulting in culture-specific musical fluency. This
familiarization explains why individuals from different cultures have
different musical tastes. In addition, the theory helps explain why
beauty (in a wide sense; perhaps the term elegance
is more apt) is a cue for truth in mathematical problem solving and scientific discovery.
The theory and its implications have influenced theory and research in the psychology of perception
, cognitive psychology
, social psychology
, web design
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