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33 - Creativity and Aesthetics

from Manifestations of Creativity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 April 2019

James C. Kaufman
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
Robert J. Sternberg
Affiliation:
Cornell University, New York
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Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the psychology of art and aesthetics, especially as it relates to the psychology of creativity. Borrowing from Rhodes’ (1961) conceptualization of creativity, the four main aspects of the aesthetic experience of art are examined: process, product, person, and press. Process refers to the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in the experience of art. These processes progress from early, automatic processing of basic visual features (e.g., contrast and symmetry) and identification of depicted objects to more complex responses involving meaning-making and aesthetic judgments of an artwork. The product is the artwork that has resulted from the creative process, which then becomes the object of attention during an aesthetic encounter. The person is the art perceiver whose art-related knowledge and experiences as well as personality characteristics affect his or her aesthetic experience of art. Finally, press refers to the influence of the context (e.g., museum vs. laboratory) in which an artwork is viewed. Research findings relevant to each of these aspects of the aesthetic experience are discussed.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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