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STUDIES IN THE

NEW

EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS:
STEPS TOWARD AN
OBJECTIVE PSYCHOLOGY OF
AESTHETIC APPRECIATION
./

xx

EDITED av D. E.

UNI/E RSITY

BERLYNE

O F TORONTO

I-USMISPHERE PUBLISHING

CORPORATION
1974

Washington. D. C.

A HALSTED PRESS BOOK

JOHN WILEY & SONS

New York

London

Sydney

Toronto

CONTENTS

Copyright 1974 by Hemisphere Publishing Corporation. All rights


reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form.
by photostat, microform, retrieval system, or any other means.
without the priurwritten permission of the publisher.

Hemisphere Publishing Corporation


1025 Vermont Avenue, N. W., Washington, D.C. 20005
Distributed solely by
Inc.,

New York.

I-lnlsted Press, a Division

of John Wiley

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Dara:


Berlyne, D. E.
Studies in the
1.

Aesthetics.

N7l.B-42

new experimental
2.

aesthetics.

ArtPsychology.

70l'.17

ISBN 0-470-07039-0

I.

74-13600

Title.

&

Sons,

Preface

vii

THE NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS, D.

. .

VERBAL AND EXPLORATORY RESPONSES TO SOUND


SEQUENCES VARYING [N UNCERTAINTY LEVEL,
J. B.

Crazier

27

THE DEVELOPMENT WITH AGE OF VERBAL AND


EXPLORATORY RESPONSES TO SOUND SEOUENCES
VARYlNG IN UNCERTAINTY LEVEL, 5. W. E. Bragg and

./.B.Crozier......

. .

. .

..

VERBAL RESPONSES To VISUAL SEQUENCES VARYING


IN UNCERTAINTY LEVEL, L. F. Normore
.

VERBAL AND EXPLORATORY RESPONSES TO VISUAL


PATTERNS VARYING IN UNCERTAINTY AND IN
REDUNDANCY, D. E. Ber/yne

Printed in the United States of America

E. Ber/yne

. .

91

109

121

PREFACE

CONTENTS

vi

AUDITORY PATTERNS VARYING


F. G.

Hare

IN

Hare

UNCERTAINTY,

IN

DIMENSIONS OF PERCEPTION
and J.

C. 09//V/5'

159

I59

'

'

'

'

175

PAINTINGS,
~

AN EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF PERCEPTUAL


AND STYLISTIC DIMENSIONS OF PAINTINGS
SUGGESTED BY ART HISTORY, G. C. Cupch//<
.

181

227

235

A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF EXPLORATORY AND


VERBAL RESPONSES TO VISUAL PATTERNS VARYING
IN COMPLEXITY D. E. Ber/yne, M. C. Robbins, and
Thompson

259

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS, D.

Author Index
Subject Index

Bar/yne

E.

This book is devoted to an area of


study for which the new experimental
aesthetics seems an appropriate
name. It reports some experiments that have
been carried out since I970. We hope
that readers interested in psychology
and readers interested in the arts will
consider our ndings worthy of their
attention. But our main aim is to
give some idea of the techniques
that are
now available to the experimental aesthetician
and of the kinds ofquestions
that can and cannot be answered
with their help.

Apart from one chapter


which the data were collected in Uganda
by two
anthropologists from the University
of Missouri, the book is the work of
persons affiliated with the
Psychology Department of the University of
Toronto.
Chapter 1 discusses the objectives
of the experiments and attempts to
place these objectives in
perspective. Consequently, there is
little left for
this preface to do except
record our thanks to those, other than the
authors,
(Chapter

CORRELATES OF HUMOR: VERBAL AND NONVERBAL


AESTHETIC REACTIONS AS FUNCTIONS OF SEMANTIC
DISTANCE WITHIN ADJECTIVE-NOUN PAIRS.
M. Godkewitsch

14

HEDONIC TONE AND REWARD VALUE OF EXPOSURE


To PAINTINGS, D. E. Ber/yne

R,
I3

12

AND IN VARIETY,

or:

11

NOVELTY, COMPLEXITY, AND INTERESTINGNESS,

D. E. Ber/yne

10

DISTRIBUTIONAL REDUNDANCY

D, E. Ber/yne

VERBAL RESPONSES TO VISUAL PATTERNS VAR/ING


F, G,

AND RESPONSES TO VISUAL AND

ARTISTIC TRAINING

<

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

279
305

333
337

who have

12),

for

contributed in indispensable ways to


the completion of more than
one of these projects. They
include our senior research technician, Miss
Mary
Louise King, and two other
research technicians, Mrs. Merle Nudelman
and
Mrs. Patricia Hunter; our research
secretary, Mrs. J. E. Peters; Mrs. R, Niedra,
who drew many of the illustrations;
Mr. R. S. Young and his assistants in the
Department of Psychology electronics
workshop; and the National Research
Council ofCanada and the Canada
Council, whose research grants (Nos. A-73,

PRE FACE

VIII

the

nancial

S72~l405-Xl, respectively) provided


experiments and the preparation of
wherewithal for the execution of the

S70-1570-X2,
book.

and

this

THE NEW EXPERIMENTAL


AESTHETICS

techniques

on the statistical
We have had to provide detailed information
some comments
data and, occasionally, to make
that we used for analyzing our
who are
This is for the benet of readers
on the underlying mathematics.
to
accustomed
are
disciplines. They
psychologists or specialists in neighboring
readers,
other
that
will expect it. It is hoped
receiving such information and
be put off by these technical
who lack the necessary background, will not
able to
them. We trust that they will be
passages but will feel free to skip
a few
are
There
statistical analyses tell us.
gather the essentials of what the
to
tests
For example, we have to apply
points they will have to understand.
unlikely to

significant.i.e.,that they are


verify that differences are statistically
then are we entitled to conclude
be the result of chance fluctuations. Only
will
have had genuine effects. Also, they
that the factors we are studying
numbers
simply
are
mention
indices that we
realize that the various correlation
measures
or association between two
relationship
of
degree
representing the
indication
some
give
which scores on one
or sets of measures, i.e., the extent to
to be.
likely
are
of how high scores on the other
new
over
a hundred years old, the
is
Although experimental aesthetics
that the
infancy. We are well aware
experimental aesthetics is still in its
will
they may elate family and friends,
faltering rst steps of any infant,while
they
But
fast.
very
far
to be moving very
not seem to a disinterested observer
achievements of the polar explorer or the
the
to
preliminaries
are indispensable
judge psychological aesthetics to
marathon runner. We trust that readers will
currently
as worthwhile as many that
be a deserving eld of study, at least
undertake
will
others
researchers, and that
receive much more attention from
the limitations of our own.
overcome
will
the investigations that

D. E. Berlyne

D.

E.

Berlyne

difcult to dene, although many


The eld of aesthetics is notoriously
their own
writers have not hesitated to do so at the expense of imposing
The term, derived from the classical Greek verb aisrlzanomai,

preconceptions.
mealflg "to perceive," acquired

present connotations almost by accident.

Baumgarten (1735, 1750), set


of knowledge through
:3:
and logic. He found
reason
with
P:3TCePt1OI'i and imagination, as contrasted
which have
poetry
Speculiagities hof
and other arts,
1;l:::uel1leddiis:;ssgrriLgb1the

German

philosopher,

eui$:e:i}:iS.century
rubric, to investigate the acquisition

wit

y a ocia e

the

day.

congggenzzatplrf:
nearly so
certainly

August 1974

its

aesthetics

to the present

Baumgarten wrote! We can


1t:p}:0VInC,l>ut we cannot state

since

stglrlqse r:10:;ler(:B;(.):1:efd

condently when; the li


birnis
concerned with We ms

an aesthetic aspect to mar,

word

Acme

o
is

at

hrorri

tl;Liiri3vl"Il

province

lie.

Aesthetics

conned tovthe arts.There


not

is
is

mathematics to housework.

iets,
an)
side. And,
In fact, one can argue thagve
in
ie aiitsfaestlietic
nlztionelfn
our
in
art
may what are the ms? The
0
UP
0
has grown
wor

westem society over ;he


become rmly attached to

last

at

few cen

Lines,

and particular attitudes have

it we
5PP0eh to aPProachsometh1nglabeled
with a certain aesthuc ii:
awe and Sptllbound
:1<;:,tWf1tha clfrtain
smousness that are withheld from
e o iects that we encounter. A
conception of art quite like ours is not gent
e found in many other cultures or

as art

D. E.

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS

BERLYNE

even in western society before the Renaissance. These other cultures have all
produced objects, patterns, and activities that we class as art and treat as we
treat

our own works of

art as

soon

as

we

philosophy and the kinds for which training

gain access to them. But their

is what the word aesthetics" most often


used alone) aims to make general statements aim; the
entities, concepts, terms, and values connected with art, beauty, etc. The best
term to cover other forms of speculative aesthetics is art theory. This seems
to be the best translation for expressions like sciences de Ilzrr,

denotes when

not exhaust its scope. Beauty, however dened and explicated, is far from
being the only quality attributed to works of art and to other objects of
aesthetic value. Others, including sublimity, interestingness, and even ugliness
have also been held to characterize them. Aesthetics has sometimes been

must be to nd

is

inside

it

and what

is

outside

it,

countries.

words

methods and
two groups.

investigated, with different


disciplines, falling into

visual

all,

there are speculative disciplines.

arts.

Musicology

and

theory

of

literature"

:1}i;?c\JLlf:si()tI111::1'-:1

aesthetics in spending more time

dfrognalphilolophical

u
W1"~[W1
do?
V ~ 33:11
-. ng
If
A
v

5, artists,

wor

and

Pi.l"Clpl8S that are

an_ inevitable interpenetration


philosophical aesthetics.

styles. But, sincethis


its

subject

history and art criticism.

Once

is

matter and

commonly

that

is

of

recognized

again, these terms sometimes

pertain to the visual arts in particular and sometimes to all the arts, in which
case the words music" and literary" are substituted for the word art"

several

3:39

fapriropriate.

Art history

is

selfexplanatory. There has been

great

the varioustasks
of criticism A(se-e l/enturi, 1964;
whs:ttc;n]:cQv):sy1;;e7r
), but the prirnary aim of this discipline is, one may
Say to he] in tks;
d
enjoyment,
evaluation of particular

They can be pursued in a study

extent, their
an authors own beliefs, intuitions, and experience. To a large
continental
popular
in
currently
is
that
method is hermeneutic, to use a term
texts,
particular
of
examination
Europe, i.e., they rely heavily on interpretative
criterion
ultimate
Their
art.
particular specimens of literary, musical, or visual
ofconviction.
of validity is whether they leave the reader with a feeling
the kinds
Within speculative aesthetics, a distinction can be drawn between
of
departments
of investigation for which training is received in university

art

on

can hardly be

applicable to art in general, there

between

Witlun art theory, a not very


-sharp distinction

denitions of conor in a library. They depend heavily on deductionfrom


accepted propositions, from
cepts, from self-evident principles, from generally

German,

(in

Literaturwisserischaft) are used with reference to the other major media. Art

Speculative Aesthetics
First of

general, they frequently imply specialization in the

b etween

by

(with their

to

within the purview of aesthetics are


different objectives,

German Wissenschafr

scholarship."

CONCERNED WITH AESTHETICS


fall

the French science and the

and

but the demarcation lines recognized by tradition and by


everyday language are all too often found to lack scientific usefulness.
Denitions of areas, in contrast with denitions of concepts and of terms,
can be fuzzy and shifting without harmful consequences.

objects and activities that

like

which are widely used in non-Englishspeaking


of confusion has arisen from failure to realize that

etc.,

great deal

European languages) do not mean what the English word


science" means. A more accurate translation for them would be

least provisionally,

The

equivalents in other

psychological aesthetics, in particular, has suffered in the past from the


excessive tendency to isolate it for study. Since it is not possible to
investigate everything at once, areas of inquiry have to be mapped out, at

DISCIPLINES

it is

Kunstwissenschafr,

identied with the theory of pleasing and displeasing" (Fechner, 1876, l., p.
l) in general, especially among the early experimental psychologists.
The impossibility of drawing a sharp line to mark off the subject matter of
aesthetics need not, however, disquiet the psychologist. One of his prime aims

between what

received in departments of ne

Philosophical aesthetics (which

signicance for their originators will often have been quite different.
Questions regarding beauty belong indisputably to aesthetics. But they do

links

is

and music.

arts, literature,

,
.,

,
,

and
berstianding-,
Worrb Tmfcan ha r dlin e
one
without considering the historical succession
y
~1
of st YES and the nature of art, so that overlaps with art history and
'

Ph110S0phical aesthetics are unavoidable.

Empirical Aesthetics
be};:1::or::;?:nC::\%1eef

,,....-.w.....<...........ay,M..,...,,,,

disciplines

concernvediwith aesthetics

Eesponmmy

are

the

Smdy.mg the forms


of behavior that ce-nter afoirllrllldst
wor s 0 art and otheraesthetic phenomena.
They Study them however with the methods and objectives peculiar to
.

aCc]:pt

for

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS


D. E.

BERLYNE

empirical

science.

That

and,

in

is

to say,

particular,

but not particularly distinguished


Experimental aesthetics has had a long
Fechner who is generally
It was founded by
history (Berlyne, 1972b).
and 13705
experimental psychology, in the 13505
recognized as the father of
(set;
progress
it made some tangible
For most of the ensuing century,
experimental
comparison with other branches of
Valeniie, 1952). but, in
whole, not
were relatively sparse and, on the
psychology, its products
of
however, been a marked reinvigoration
profoundly enlightening. There has,
latest phase is characterized
aesthetics since about 1960. This

conclusions from
they derive their
means
observation, which

controlled

the effects of one


circumstances that enable
observation under
accompany it. This
factors that common! y
other
of
those
and statistical
distinguished from
procedures, research design,
to sampling
attention
due
entails

observation

analysis of data.

Among

sciences, the
the behavioral

clearcut lines
(again, without

aesthetics is
domain of em pirical
psychology,
of demarcation) among

experimental
coming
new techniques, new aims, and new ideas
by some new approaches,
of
speak
appropriately
these reasons, one can
from a variety of sources. For

up
perhaps smaller sha
and linguistics, with
sociology, anthropology,
political science.
to economics and
aesthetics is psychobfolo
of empirical
psychoOne prominent branch
the term
(Berlyne, 1971),

divided

As explained elsewhere
what most contemporary
one to distinguish
think of as
biology is a useful
what many laymen
'~researchers do from
before the
heading
pursued under th is
and from what was
scientific discipline.

or

experimental aesthetics until recently:

Collmve
properties of stimulus patter-n5_
concentrates on collative
formal
or
said later) are structural"
properties (of which more will be
simplecomplex
familiar-novel,
along
properties, such as variations
1. It

Psychobiology

investigation of human
science to the
empirical
of
methods
that can inuence
observable conditions
relations to the
view.
its
and
behavior
1 point of
behavior from a biologica
it investigates
to
Moreover,
limited
behavior.
could no t be
aesthetics is useful but
psychological
to
much
have
The term
of speculative aesthetics
All the branches
approaches.
and
empirical
the creation
processes involved in

the

psychological

stable-variable dimensions

expectedsurprising, ambiguousclear, and


questions (see Berlyne, 1960, 1970,
2. 1 t concentrates on motivational
1971).

about

deductively or
psychological questions

to arrive

I:

SSU-(1165

'l'1V6S

psychological

to establish links

911;?

aims not only to throw light on


problems, to
through the elucidation of aesthetic

phenomena. This means that

Phenomena but

mi 0W

make use

ght on

human psychology

it
-

in general.

experimental aesthetics, all


of PSyh1gy
cagiilgs :$3i:i:;:Se1r(i)t:
:1
or? m I e D","
'~
known to its members by the not
Universit of To l'0n t 0. This laboratory is
Y
Aplopatliematic and
Semus E1 N YEW mi1 me f1-3bY3i0ry of
V
Bentharr (see
lfhryl
These terms taken from
Be:l;$at<;s)c7o3r.:; r|i1e;itr:z:;:l:g: o unraveling the determinants of hedonic
e SSGS in h 8 determination of
Processes and unraveling the role ofhedonic P ro C

aesthetics. This,
by behavioral scientists.
aesthetics is acperimerztal
through
problems
One part of psychobiological
the study of aesthetic
indicates, consists of
systematiterm
the
experimenter
as

0S4)i:Tl1eu::(E;:11j;l;ESt0f

an
situations in which
aspect of
experiments, i.e., through
effects on some
their
that
causal factors so
important
manipulates
cally
however, two very
ascertained. it excludes,
correlatiomzl
behavior can be
aesthetics. One is the
to psychological
approaches
empirical
natura lly and statistical
more factors vary
or
two
which
associated. For
study, in
strongly they are
to find out how
used
of
are
techniques
between c haracteristics
the correlations
of
studies
are
are
there
example, there
produce. Secondly,
kinds of art they
characteristics,
societies and the
of
measureme nt
content analysis, i.e.,
typifying
investigations using
and other artifacts
artistic
characteristics, of

the nhew

i.

behavior.

THEORETICAL ORIENTATION
to be reported are
Those res o s'b1 rim he XPe\'lmem5 ma 3! going
Selina?
territory,
oneers who are exploring largely uncharted
Wen aware opf
,, p

especially statistical

or historical periods.
specific social groups

ae th

verbally expressed judgment;


nonverbal behavior as well as
between aesthetic phenomena and other
-

'

3.
.

'

methods
not use empirical
art. But they do
answ
appreciation of works of
formulate
They either
about these processes.
contributed
answers
at new knowledge
of the

say

1971 19721))
new experimeritalaesthetics (Berlyne,
aesthetics possesses one
experimental
new
Research identiable with the
characterized much
features, none of which
more of the following

the

aesthetics.

psychology"
as a
advent of psychology

~
6

o. E.

BERLYNE

and conclusions must be offered with


where every step can be hazardous
be
recognize that much more work must
circumspection and hesitancy. They
provisional and before even provisional
done before answers can be more than
ventured.
answers to many questions can be
can hardly be represented as a
notionsthey
theoretical
The guiding
been expounded in detail elsewhere
coherent theory or modelhave
from them
are, the hypotheses constructed
(Berlyne, 1971). Tentative as they
from
quarters inside and outside psychology,
receive support from several
and neurophysiology of motivational
recent ndings in the psychology
old and new, in psychology, and
processes, from other lines of research,both

ofan,

ELEMENT

WORK

AN

and
aestheticians, information theorists,
from the writings of speculative
theoretical
the
of
recapitulalion
for a
semioticians. There is no room here
roughly as follows:
principal ingredients can be indicated

scheme, but

work

ART
CHARACIERISTICS

OF

A
OF

OF

element

an

its

A Work

of

art is

what an element

will

be

like

and

characterized

by

relative

sources.

information-

modifying some usages introduced by


Bense
(1958), Frank (1959), and
theoretic aestheticians such as Moles
information
syntactic
cultural, and
(1969), we may refer to expressive,
three kinds
information." The importance of these

Extending and

slightly

collectively as aesthetic

artistic (poetic)

distinguish
one of the salient features that
since, in the latter,
communication,
and nonartistic (prosaic) forms of
the
is what matters (cf.
accurate conveyance of semantic information

of information

is

$0

at
transmit

NO

be
c~

can

vice versa.

can help one


semantic,
is labeled, respectively,
Information traceable to the four sources
however,
are,
There
information.
expressive, cultural, and syntactic
information
of
some transmission
complications because there is usually
one of the four sources and
every
between
(correlation, causal inuence)
between the
there is some overlap (redundancy)
every other. This means that
extent, the
some
the work of art. But to
four kinds of information reaching
will be
there
information, which means that
four sources emit independent
linking
channel
capacity of the
competition between them for the limited
one
from
transmission (i.e., influence)
them with the work.'More information
art
of
from the others, and different styles
will therefore generally mean less
different
predominance of information from
to predict

to

(see Berlyne,
analyzed in information-theoretic terms
can transmit
which
of
elements, each
1965, Chap. 2) as an assemblage of
is another
This
Fig.
l).
(depicted in
information from four distinct sources
the
between
degree of correlation
way of saying that there is some
belonging
characteristics of events or objects
characteristics of an element and
sources
that acquaintance with the four
to the four sources or, alternatively,
1.

ofa

on
5*

5
IC

ISTICS

axrsnnn

~
OF

~
inform.

which

womg

OTHER

EC
SAME
CHARACTERIST

AN

through

ELEMENTS

OBJ

HARACTE

or

me
PSYCHOLOGICAL

ARNST

PROCESSES

WIIHIN

SOCIAL

OF
THE
Channels

NORMS

I.
FIG.

PERIMENTAIL Aesrnerics

D. E. BERLYNE

z-

communicated, and by the relative importance of formal


properties in the selection of something to communicate.
ofsymbols in accordance with
2. A work of art is regarded as a collection
is

Modifying this
the communication of

intrinsic values, i.e., the artist's

views on what objects,

real or ideal, deserve attention.


3.

A work

prgpe,r_tie;s_g,__and

of art

is

regarded as a stimulus pattern

possibly other propertiesas

whose

collative

hedonic value.
measurable variables
of the same
aspects
be
not
(Berlyne, 1967, l973b), which may or may
of pleasure,
de_.-":23
include
underlying psychophysiological variable. They
which have
usually measured through verbal judgments,

The term hedonic value embraces

several distinct

preference, or utility,

aesthetics. They also


long been the principal source of data for experimental
which must be
include such variables as reward value and incentive value,
something has a
measured through nonverbal behavior. When we say that
with it is
positive intrinsic hedonic value, we mean that contact
affords access to other
pleasurable, rewarding, etc., in itself and not because it
what aestheticians
events with benecial or noxious qualities. This is close to
itself or of aesthetic
end
in
an
as
ofart
spoken
have
have meant when they

appreciation as disinterestcd."
value with
There is abundant evidence (Berlyne, 1967) connecting hedonic
produce
patterns
aesthetic
that
fluctuations in arousal, and it is hypothesized
of
counterpart
a
course,
of
their hedonic effects by acting on arousal. This is,
emotional
their
the old belief that works of art generate pleasure through

impact.

about in either of
Indications are that positive hedonic values can come
arousal-boost
two ways, namely through a moderate increase in arousal (the
reached an
mechanism") or through a decrease in arousal when arousal has
uncomfortably high level (the arousal-reduction mechanism).

The magnitude of the

subsequent event that lowers arousal.


_d-.9.

movement

the conception of signs and symbols developed by


According to Morris (1939),
(Peirce, 1897', Morris, i946; Osgood, 1952).
presence of two characteristics:
aesthetic symbols are distinguished by the
in common with the objects or
they are iconic (i.e., they have properties
communicate value properties."
events that they signify) and they serve to
aesthetic symbols as
suggestion, we may see the speciality of

'

.--.

.7

those that occasion sharper rises in arousal will be unpleasant, punishing, and
aversive, in which case positive hedonic value can be produced by some

the

the semiotic

*.-

'

Stimulus patterns that give rise to moderate arousal increments will be


pleasurable and rewarding through the arousal-boost mechanism, whereas

Marcus,
between scientic and poetic language pointed out by
communication is characterized by
1970). In nontechnical language, artistic
is communicated, as compared
something
how
relative importance of

contrasts

with what

Paflfpfildepends on a large assortment of fa/cfo


association with, or resemblance to, biologically sriifirni events

9_3..5..l.l1l:l.U5

Briey,
,,.........,.

aziloplgalllatig/iepgoaperties.

H
,-ma.

arou

I'll

The

we refer

These properties are what

to collectively as

5itu3l- 35 h}Pth95iZ9dv

i5

Teiifesented

the curve in Figure 2

by

by Wundt
two
be
explained
as
the
algebraic
summation
ofthe
(1874). This curve could
curves in Figure 3, which represent the supposed degrees of activation oftwo
which

a reinterpretation of the well-known curve presented

is

reward system and an aversion

antagonistic systems in the brain, a primary

must be pointed oit that these curves concern only the conditions
under which a stimulus pattern has either positive hedonic value throuvh
9 the
arousal-boost mechanism or negative hedonic value. It does not cover
system.

It

stimulus patterns that have positive hedonic value through arous,il.i-edutjon

(me 3'5aHag mechanism), which

is likely to involve a third system in the


Secondary reward system (Berlyne, 1967; Olds, 1973).
The upshot of these hypotheses is that the appeal ofa work of art depends
" the im"Pl3Y of two sets of factors one tending to drive arous aupw-ars
l
d

bl"r1in.a

mt

mdm

.'

keep it wittun bounds. The idea


um ae:t;e:c u requires a com ination oftW0 par :1 y opposite arid partly
wmplemenmy factors has Cm PP ed
repeatedly over the centuries. They
dup
"
have been labeled uni_form:ty" an
t
Hutcheson (1725) and
l9e:iriey
by.
many later writers (see E sen k
and complexity. b)
-V).
Zrdpr
..
Birkhoff (1933) subjemvgl. re;unyd an Q)
statisticalnnformation by
'

or to
v;:'lE t0.rEduce arobusal

'

'

'

information-theoretic aestheticians

(Q unzen auiet, 19622, concinniiy, and


and i'n}'stexYY by Kaplan (1973).
With one exception these terms zieencjl
r
a
insu icient y comprehensive and
Wpture Some, b U r not all, of the numerous ingredients of each
factor, The
exception is Coatess concinnity " a Wm
d
t h at has existed 1 the English
'
language since at least 1531
d istdektlined by
Oxford English Dictionaf)
gift
the
as skillful Putting togethe
par 5 .ammny' If 1t}" W111 Serve to
..mpathy.,by

Coatesugn)

tech

V9f the arousal-moderatina

pmpem_es

.f

3 Pam-H1,

We might adopt

the

word tension" as a rubric f;


i[ISaI0i:sal-increasing properties. This word has so
often been Seconded from
duties

in mechanical engineering to
;1=U1al
widespread meta P ho flea service for both
psychologists and writers
'

pm-om

Q:

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS

LIJ

5:1

and

value

V
F2

E
Lu
[Z

E
EE

'T~

Ya

AROUSAL

.g

Q,

hedonic

between

>

3;

~..--_-_

5
54 Q

relations

3:
potential.

FIG. 3. Hypothetical curves representing activity of a primary reward system and an aversion system in the brain,
whose resultant produces the \Vundt curve.

representing

>

arousal

curve

on

Wundt

tending to correct the deformation arises as soon as the strain is removed.


This makes the analogy with psychological tension imperfect, since the
latter is characterized not merely by resilience but by negative or

rein

Th
NEGATIVE

POSITIVE

HEDONlC

VALUE
|ND|FFERENCE

HEDONIC

has the appropriate connotations of a strain pulling something

out ofits normal shape or state. In elastic bodies, the resulting deformation
or stress is accompanied by storage of potential energy, so that a force

terpreted

'

art. It

compensating feedback: counteracting processes normally come into play


soon after an arousing influence has made itself felt and before it is
withdrawn. There is neurophysiological evidence (Dell, 1963) that, when

2
.

1716

~
i.

the

rw~

brain structures

of heightened arousal are


to corrective inhibitory inuences
inuences are, of course, frequently

controlling the

indices

activated, they are usually subjected

from

other

,,.i...-.e-..,_y,~vaa<-,_=;qu~

sense

10

These

of disturbing experiences or

threats.

.,..,,..,...,,.......

structures.

inadequate to bring arousal down again, so that more complex devices are
brought into play, such as information-analyzing processes that make
actions that remove environmental

_..,..,,.,.,,-sp

12

D. E.

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETIGS

BERLYNE

.._.,

._

sometimes at work simultaneously,


Concinnity and tension are, it seems,
ensure
each other. This presumably serves to
so that they oppose and balance
generated
be
can
reward
and
so that pleasure
that arousing effects are limited,
At other times, arousal-raising and
mechanism.
arousal-boost
through the
means
come into play in turn, which presumably

arousal-moderating factors
ofarousal
arousal is succeeded by a phase
that a phase of uncomfortably high
At
yet other
or disturbance is relieved.
reduction, so that the discomfort
times, pleasure and reward

in
from activation ofboth mechanisms
"arousal
arousal is succeeded by a drop (the

may

turn, as a moderate rise in

result

OBJECTIVES OF THE EXPERIMENTS TO


BE REPORTED

ensuing chapters of this book were


that have
crucial tests for the hypotheses
not designed primarily to provide
has
there is to support these hypotheses
just been outlined. What evidence
conclusive
1967, 1971). Before more
already been set forth (Berlyne,
and before more details can be
gathered
evidence for or against them can be
advances will have to be made. Measuring
lled in, it is evident that several
so that the concepts figuring
procedures will have to be devised and rened,
in the world of empirical
firmly
more
in the hypotheses can be anchored
and theoretical quesperceptual,
data. And some essential methodological,
to

be reported

in the

must be cleared up.


the theoretical scheme has two
With regard to the experiments concerned,
some variables that should repay
primary guiding roles. It points to
problems that must be resolved before
investigation. And it points to some
substantial advances can be made.

tions

variety of
be seen, are addressed to a fairly wide
techniques and some independent and
topics. But some experimental
While each experiment had its
dependent variables will come up repeatedly.

The experiments,

as will

overall objectives:
specific aims, they shared the following
1. to try out
statistical analysis

aesthetics,

The dependent
7.

variables

Verbal ratings.

fall

Most by

into three groups:


fat

of the contributions that have been made

to experimental aesthetics since its beginnings have cogcemmed on V5,;


evaluative judgments. Subjects have been asked to state how much they like
particular stimulus objects or patterns,

how much, how

which they prefer

to

which and by

pleasing or pleasant or beautiful they find each one etc

Beginning with Day's (I965) doctoral thesis, ranlecrizlerings and ratings of


Pleasingness have been recorded in our laboratory. Butjudgmems of anon-,3;

namely lnterestingness, were also cbtained. Interestingness and Pleasingness generally behave differently: they vary with some of the
same independent variables, particularly complexity (objective or subjective)
and novelty, but the curves relating them to these variables are generally
dissimilar. lnterestingness seems generally to rise rnonotorcally with collative
stimulus properties, whereas Pleasingness and equivalent attributes reach a
peak, or sometimes several peaks, in the middle ranae. Other experiments
were concerned with Judgments of Complexity (beginning with Day, 1965)
and novelty (Berlyne & Parham, 1968).
Since then, we have settled on the type of sevenpoint rating scale
md_d by 059003 (1933). 136., a row of seven compartments with
opposite words or phrases labeling the two extremes. We have 3150 Come to
use a progressively wider range of scales, as have researchers in other
I a I)
zratoriles gse: Berlyne, 1972a, Berlyne, Chap. 14, this .,01ume)_
ever
5 7}P91'1m5m5 3 be fepotted use lzatteries of scales belonging
to the Song;mg I lee C1355 (3) WSCVIPWV9 51716:, referring to collative
Properties of stimulus patterns, which include subjective equivalents of the
measu e
t
d
d
lllformauon theory (Ber]yn= 1974): 0) 9Vl5V
by
scales rirldlzallveucefh
ljmc value and re.med attributes and (C) im"[""e
to
scales referrin
t:rifutes of the subject 5 react;on or mood while exposed
ola
to a .pmem gs
:rather different nature, namely stylistic scales,
6: on
referring to tchflitica a ti utes of worl<s of art, make an Eppearance in a fgw
ea
ofthe Pxperiments (Chaps. 9 and II, this volume).
2
Recordings of bodily processes, for
hgig/sialogicaifmeasures.
h
or
estanons
mmy
.aCcompammEr[5 Dr mn" but
man]!
fraes
with
nowadays more
fluctuations in arousal, were used
Que! Y Connected
eviluatlve attribute.

boost-jag).

The experiments

Dependent Variables

and
some techniques of data collection, measurement,
value for experimental
that seem to have great potential

certain independent variables and


2. to examine the relations between
certain dependent variables, and
certain dependent variables.
3. to examine the relations among

'

'

'

'

'

quite early

by students of experimental

Earlier investieatioris
in
5

is
aesthetics (e T
Digereng ' 1925) l

our laboratory studied effects on


-

measure s 0 f conflict (Berlyne, 1961), uncertainty (Berlyne


'

GSR and E1-jc,


& Borsa, 1968),

rm-

.2}

14

D. E.

NEW

BERLYNE

& Parham,
and various properties of sounds (Berlyne, McDonnell, Nicki,
laboratories
other
in
investigations
of
1967). There have also been plenty
conrming the effects of collative stimulus properties on indlces of arousal
(see Berlyne, l97l,Chap. 13).
3. Behavioral measures.

change in behavior, the only conclusive


value of an event

reward value with

responses, either

his choice

is

recorded.

we

variables, particularly collative


stimulus patterns that are more likely to

r::::.":;:::.:B:::;*:;

The

two telegraph keys and can

subject has access to

press either of

them

:1

e ec

at

was discussed

earlier.

And

the

of lw ohcorcicurrent responsesare being compared


rules out the possibim
th a t C anges
overall activity level are alone
in
responsible for the ndii gs. So, this technique seems promising as a way to
probe the reward value of aesthetic patterns, and it was used in several of the
projects with which this book is concerned (Chaps. 5, l0, and 13),
fact that the frequencies

RIal"3 3m"9

event is identifiable with


1973b). This attribute of a stimulus
when it is expected to
probable
more
the extent to which a response becomes
and of cognitivist
theory
decision
that event. It is a central concept of

Dependent Variables

';S11:;'t:(:.int3;"C:T315l51l|'lY-E
attmt!l1f

S0l"l'rlr6e

NR

variable.
2
E

nuke sR laws the


bl not Cfmlml or explanation of
Phenomena. Neverthri./legnlrgllflredmlony
aws can verify predictions from. theories that
~
include

SR Wind Pleg

dependent
mange-e.m-ens.x,-.e..a4

grown, it has become imperative


the measures they yield to nd out the

dfViCS has

be reectmg a Common undeying


belfnhimay
This mean
t
rig
laws Gpence, 1194.4), which
esha lsb
experimental psycholos
S1345 ave eenpsomewhat inclined to disdain,because,
degree to which

lead to

is

it a
$312335: 5 two instrumental responses producing

ofa key has no effect. But now and then, it will produce a brief exposure of;
Palm. 0 Picture on a screen. Once this has occurred, a variable, randomly
aveirpge in our experiments) must elapse
i::.::l:l;l:7d33itxl1ngl9m(:[:a::1:O}l::S :iiitl}i1e
t
Consequence Although this
8' Smile
(get
technique does not involve dela
est in t e absence of the event whose
ye
reward value is to be measupd
~
it can be argued that the relative rates of
1'35PUdl 0" the {W0 keys retlect the relative reward values of tr e stimuliis

utility (Berlyne,

reinforcement

(but not both together) as often as he wants. Most of the time, the depression

be chosen are not always those that

implies a durable
defined in terms of learning and learning

of the event after a


same response) and a

Looking or Listening Time.


an index of incentive value or
Exploratory Choice can be regarded as

frequently

repetition of the

reinforcement with concurrent but independent variable-interval schedules.

attract longer

is

prompt

drive or arousal (Le, a rise in the subject's overall activity level) A


technique for measuring the reward value of visual or auditory patterns. in

and giving him

brands of behavior theory.


reward value. This is identiable
Another behavioral hedonic concept is
a learned, i.e.,lasting, increase in the
with the power of an event to promote
stimulus condition and a response that
strength of association between some
1967). Since
followed by the event in question (Berlyne,

important not to confuse

rise in

rationale.

same

it is

transient effects that can temporarily raise the

particular response, evokes a

patterns to reappear, and


"

as a measure of the
Exploration Time has been variously interpreted
the intensity of attention (shown by
intensity of the orientation reaction,
can be warded off), or perceptual
attention
how long competing targets for
curiosity to be reduced to a
for
takes
curiosity (shown by how long it
seems to be governed by some of the
threshold value). Exploratory Choice
variables, as Exploration Time, but the

some

value. These include a cue effect (i.e., the occurrence

have resorted to wiring up the subject


processes are being registered, as a
to understand that psychophysiological
on exploratory behavior.
ofexperiments
means of disguising the true purpose
of the true purpose may
knowledge
his
This is to obviate the possibility that
There
is, however, no clear
another.
bias the results in one direction or
from those that used
results
evidence that this contrivance produces different
task were simply described without a
to occur when instructions for the
In recent years,

way to detect and measme the reward


some time (24 hours or more) after

frequency of a particular response and can thus be easily mistaken for reward

Several of the experiments recorded measures of

ofwhich will cause one of the

15

to observe behavior

the last occurrence of the event. In particular,

exploratory or stimulusseeking behavior.


Two such measures appear repeatedly. One is Exploration Time (Looking
succession of
Time or Listening Time). The subject sees or hears each of a
to each
self-exposure
of
duration
the
and
patterns for as long as he wishes,
auditory
or
visual
Two
Choice.
pattern is recorded. The second is Exploratory
given a choice between
patterns are first presented to the subject. He is then

two

is

EX-RlMENTAL AESTHETICS

me asures

lS

am} 1 any Case, they are needed if the significance of


to be understood. Another way of putting it is to say

'1

16

D. E.

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS

BERLYNE

used to focus their attention more or less


the recent period. investigators
measures, either failing to Consider what
evaluative
exclusively on verbal

and unique
isolate organically unitary
will help us to
that intercorrelations
1959, p. 258) or
signicant variables (Cattell,
behavioral structures, i.e.,
problem encompasses a
259). This overall
convenient climensions (p.
worth having:
to which answers are
number of more specic questions
In
scales are interrelated.
know in what ways our verbal
1. We need to
kinds
main
the three
look for connections among
particular, it is important to
scales, the
(collative)
descriptive
used, namely the
of scales that we have
often been assumed that,
internal-state scales. it has
evaluative scales, and the
us about
of a stimulus, he is informing
when a subject expresses his evaluation
between
Correlations
in him.
that the stimulus evokes
the affective reactions
assumption
this
justified
scales will

judgments have to tell us about behavior or making assumptions on


insufficient empirical backing. Correlations between
this question that had
test hypotheses
measures of exploratory behavior and verbal ratings can
in arousal an
changes
regarding the inuence of collative variables and of
concerns the
question
exploration (Berlyne, 1960, 1963, 1966). Another vital
value-which can be
relations between verbal judgments indicative of hedonic

verbal

toneand bhviofal
conveniently placed under the label of hedonic
This is a question in
value.
reward
and
value
incentive
like
hedonic concepts,
the term hedonic
using
for
is
there
justification
much
other words, ofhow

show how

Value" to embrace both hedonic tone and behavioral hedonic concepts

evaluative and internal-state


on the one hand, and
these two kinds of scales,
that
may be. Correlations between
despite all the cautions
properties on the other, can,
ratings of collative
of
inuence
regarding the

Bartenwerfer (1963, 1969), Thayer (1967, 1970) and Godkwnsch


relevant
(1974) ha Presented data indicating high correlations between
mm-k
m_tma1'5me =-3 md P3}0h0physiological measures of arousal. Then
3.

hypotheses

correlations and R-R laws call


reactions.
evaluative and affective
collative properties on
with data from a
as soon as one is faced
Factor analysis suggests itself
chapters
in several of the
Factor analyses are reported
battery ofverbal scales.
laboratory
own
our
in
have been carried out already
that follow, and several
this volume). The
19713: Berlyne, Chap. l4,
and in others (see Berlyne,
studies is a variant of?
has been used in these
factor-analytic technique that
each of the
this technique is used,
for, test

It

technique

3
5
4.

~~

,4...-..

~i,;1;s;.,_

1
W-._

."'7.3-"P?1.T~.M

\M

..

(Cattell,

1952).

able to measure

Complexity-Uncertainty, Hedonic

restricted kinds
factor analyses with more
chapters of this book report similar
selected
designed to reveal effects of
of visual or auditory stirriulus material,

independent variables.
can help to fill a
to behavioral measures
2. Information relating verbal
aesthetics before
history of experimental
rather glaring gap that disgured the

what

questiontof whether verbal


Wm. Superior convemence be
recordings measure. Experiments

gtisirgrcticdal

an

:::;t::igl':'Ll":::::x::1:;:l:<;:l

~~

PSYChOPh1))Sl0|oo
gical

on

reported in later chapters have an indirect bearing


_

:):e15::i:Vi:::fyc:::;:y;l;::;

When

between two measures of


is a correlation
correlations that undergo analysis
individual. In our and
within the life of one
behavior over a set of occasions
occasions are
experimental aesthetics, the
other writers studies in
and, instead of
of different stimulus patterns
distinguished by presentation
a number of
data are collected from
conning attention to one subject,
between mean scores on
are used. Correlations
subjects and their mean scores
other measures as
rating scales, but occasionally
different measures (usually
are then factor-analyzed.
well) over stimulus patterns
patterns, has
a miscellany of visual
One preliminary experiment, with
factors, of which
l973a). It produced three
already been published (Berlyne,
labeled
oblique. They were provisionally
the first and third were mutually
Some of the
Value, and Cortical Arousal.

'17

i'::Il:::.

should reflect variations in amuial


variables that

Harp

A::L:s}:ie

have previously ben mun);

arousal iridices affect ratings

on these

this question.

They

and Thayer found to


I. do:
inhices and that sound as if the)
st

ow

as

how some independent

:aJT?:t~::YCh0PhYSiolOBIcal

scales in 1}:

Independent Variables
*

Before discussi

Selected for Smdyflgnfla


'm1;<

yum

'

:;(p;il'imental aesthetics

neticaroac.

that mightPl;]ay

l;

)r,r!:1;1hie1';:e;lpler:l)e:itk!ariables

-~~

can take.

One of

Lihes:

Cit:

whoseleffects were

\3llafyi?Iedxl':f2::}tll:2::l

[1211:

%%:or:1is:::ih:i;fli:g<:t.i:articu1ar

variables or factors

and designing stimulus


Ea tion
panems.thM
to be isolated and
e able these vaabpej:
Subacors
are required to respond
{manipulated for Stud 91! The objects to which
iec Isd
are thus artificial and"relatively s'imp1e\ Nobod
call them works ofart,

Wm

but they
/_'l:he

am such as might we be

_fu<nd

mm):

Synthetic approach has the advanta

um

;:u

egtfe

elem?-is

works Man

permitting control over

independent Variables, so
an expmmenir
reafonabb. smie whi.h
inan bf:
ones are T93Ponsible for observed variations
it
Su Jects reactions/i But
niight be objected that it misses some 0 f the essential and decisive attributes
:3

'

.2

C
18

D. E.

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS

BERLYNE

depends in large measure on how its


of art. The impact of a work ofart surely
its attributes interact with
elements are combined and arranged, and on how

.~.z~w;~rrv~.

~~

simplifications or ornamentations of the subject matter, as well as other

.>.tur0<:~:=~s.,q:

departures from exact reproduction of appearance.

what

elements, variables, attributes,


existing art will inevitably incorporate many
the reactions that are
and factors that could have some influence over
hard to tell which of them are affecting the

recorded.

It is,

consequently,

least, for the experimenter to


subject most deeply. It is difficult, to say the
even to measure them.
control the operative independent variables or
introduced
by Fechner (see Berlyne, 1971,
Both of these approaches were

approach with his famous experiment on


preferences between the two
the goldensection rectangle, and his study on
the first experiment illustrating
versions of a Holbein painting was apparently
has characterized the majority
the analytic approach. The synthetic approach
new experimental aesthetics. There
of contributions to both the old and the
approach in the early twentieth
were, however, some instances ofthe analytic
differeiices in aesthetic preference were

Chap.

2).

He

initiated the synthetic

century, especially

'

under

investigation.

when

individual

Both approaches

are certainly necessary to experimental

reported include examples of both.


aesthetics, and the experiments to be
following the synthetic
The synthetic approach. Our experiments
visual, that were specially
use stimulus patterns, auditory or

approach

in view. The
constructed with collative stimulus properties
of aesthetic form,"
constituents
the
with
variables are virtually identical
genres, e.g., absolute music,
structure, or composition." There are artistic
other words, syntactic information is
concrete painting, in which form or, in
content is important, i.e., when semantic,
virtually all there is. But even when
major roles, formal factors account
cultural, and expressive information play
importance of form (i.e., syntactic
for a great deal. The motivational
as distinct from content seems,
information dependent on collative variables)
variegated
ingredient that binds together the highly
in fact, to be the common
realm ofart and the aesthetic.
play an indispensable role even
Nevertheless, coilative stimulus properties
and
other words, with semantic, cultural,
in connection with content or, in
object
an
from
indistinguishable
art is
expressive information. No work of
with a
to remind us that we are dealing
cues
always
are
There
that it depicts.
distortions,
deliberate
another medium, and there are frequently
-

replica in

so hem

arse denrea of

similarity or dissimilarity to something familiar, degree of expecltcdraiess or

one another.

but has others, is


\The other alternative, which does not have this drawback
or to portions of works of art.
to tu_dy,,reactions to genuine works of art
approach, clearly brings one closer to
This, which we may call the zmzzlyric
specimen of
happens when people encounter art in real life, but any

19

surprisingness. are

4vc~<l'9M%

what matter, which means

that collative variables are

crucial.

between the collative stimulus properties and the


measures introduced by information theory. Novelty and
surprisingness are associated with high information content, complexity
ambiguity, and variability with high uncertainty. And fundamental links have,
been established between information-theoretic concepts and some of the
"
attributes of stimulus patterns that are essential to aesthetics. Goodness
degree of 5 Ult)~" and order" have been analyzed in terms of
redundancy; tension and V31'l5iY" in terms of uncertainty. European
There

PliA'1ClP31

Wmefs

are close relations

Statistical

(M0155, l958: Frank, l9S9; Gunzenhiiuser, 1962', Bense, 1969) have

based psychologics of aesthetics on information theory.

The

collative

variables are actually subjective, in the sense that they

or
organism (Berlyne, in press).

pattern can be

more

another

the same person. at one time than at another. Nevertheless,

Itrltlany

or, for

novel, complex, or ambiguous for

one person than

for

experiments, using rating scales and otherjtechniques, have confirmed

W;t11:l:::::tPY<t>:fV:<:,

informational variables. tend, as one

a:(<)1n:1;bjietc3trilt:p

y with the corresponding objective

measures pfclassical information theory.

so-called collative

Slliieonn, ll1lll:(l)6

a}r1eaSa:1rPlv:grL:unds

for believing that the variables

great deal to do with


telmion hmfe a
fn
the motivational effects ofr}ae'tlieti
n
ormational
factors are not the
ceorrii.
only Ones that govern aesthetzc a
they are unlikely to be the
to

only constituents of aesmetic


aesthetics

and

in

contrast

fotrtri: fig:/l9I:altld

with

aesthetics, they,SuUoestquant;tatiVe

the experiments tgobe

mpoued in
informaomheomic Vmabies a d

maafll
S

chess,

10.

thinipu

Sr

they seem important for

variables of concern to

a1:ions.Consequent1y,1n many of
was concentrated on
,}i1nterest

hoe

ey inuence the dependent


dew:
ove all, we wereinterested in
have already been riscplns e
of uncmaim y, which, it will be remembered, is a measure

Variables that

the effects

er

.m

'.

Pattelmsadand is equivalent to the expected


p :5; ern.se ect. from the class.
we talk about
or information, we may be thinking of
'

:::::::fon";:[:te3m:1::

when

uncertainty or

infmmatluncertainty
ion per total pattern, per element ofa pattern, per

~
V

NEW EXPERIMENTAL Aizsruericzi


20

D. E.

BERLYNE

be
used by artists. First, it can
can
it
number of elements per pattern. Secondly,
increased by increasing the
element
number of alternative forms that each
be increased by increasing the
varying
introducing
it can be decreased by
can take. Thirdly and fourthly,
(Garner,
ways
two
of
constraint) in either
amounts of redundancy (internal
some kinds of
can be created by making
1962). Distributional redundancy
can be
redundancy
others. Correlational
element occur more frequently than
frequently
more
combinations of elements appear
created by making some
producing similarities or other
than others or, in other words, by
which is
in different locations.
interdependencies between elements
called syntactic information.
identifiable with what we have
ways. This is necessary
is varied in all four
In our experiments, uncertainty
in uncertainty
variations
we observe are due to
to find out how far the effects
have special
operations
particular uncertainty-altering
as such and how far
aesthetics
of
information-theoretic theories
consequences. For example, the
redundancy.
to
attribute a special signicance
that were mentioned above
structure." The
of
amount
order"
or
Redundancy can be equated with
from that of
is clearly different
psychological signicance of redundancy
or
Unlike variation in number of eleirients
other determinants of uncertainty.
apparent
become
can
elements, redundancy
in amount of variety among
and grouped
are interrelated, organized,
pattern
ofa
portions
gradually as the
all

through perceptual processing.


properties of patterns is one
While manipulation of information-theoretic
of at
investigating the motivational effects
way, with many advantages, of
variables,
collative
verbal judgments, scaling
least some collative variables,
rating
end. The data derived from such
provide another means to the same
to
point
can
RR laws. Alternatively, they
scales can be construed as yielding
independent
as devices for measuring

the scales are regarded


our experiments, rating scales were used,
variables (see Berlyne, 1972a). ln
designed to represent different values
even when the stimulus patterns were
order to ascertain how closely the
of information-theoretic variables, in
the rated variables were related.
experimentally manipulated variables and
experiments, on the other hand,
The analytic approach. Some of our
task of studying reactions to
make a start on the ultimately unavoidable
from everyday life. As already
works of art and other aesthetic objects taken
work of art confronts us with
mentioned, the complexity of any genuine
classify, and
problems. Verbal scaling can be used to

SR laws

raise
purpose in our experiments, together with factor analysis. But they
inuence
that
attributes
the
that
the old question of how one can be sure
scales that
behavior most decisively have been covered by any battery of

..s:/_:q$s~Ixe.-1q,:~

might be chosen.

we

help in overcoming this difficulty, and more generally considerable


experimental aesthetics, is offered by the
proiriise for future research in
techniques that have becomg avgiiabie
scaling
multidimensional (nonmetric)
use
of computers. These techniques can
in recent years and depend on the
patterns or
analyze verbal judgments of the degree of similarity between two
the subject
leaving
of the degree to which one pattern is preferred to another,
butes
to determine, and computerized statistical analysis to reveal which aim

Some

other
supply measures for, paintings and

artistic

products.

They

are used for

predominantly

are reflected

in his

,-

judgments,

the chapters that follow in this volume describe some initial


great potentialities of these techniques for aesthetic;
to
attempts
tap the
sequences varying in uncertainty level (Chap. 2), to
sound
to
applied
They are
of western painting siricc the Rennigsance
selection
a fairly representative

Some of

(Chap. 9), and to some paintings chosen to


variation in paintings (Chap. 1 l).

test a theoretical

view ofstylistic

Godkewitsch s experiments on humor, which have used both the synthetic


(Chap. l3) and the analytic approaches (1974), take us into a special eld
S_ distance away from the central topics of aesthetics. But the

experimental study of humor is an integral part of experimental aesth=tics


of
because
and
the
arts
of
the
comic
in
all
role
both b
of
Recurrent

..v.,.w....,~,,.,.-r~.

the

de:1]l;:3

ame?

1']

th:
Ce o

umor on some~of
on

the same motivational processes as

time scale (Berlyne, 1969, 1972c).


e we are considering the use of works of art as stimulus material for
Avital might
experimental aesthetics, some experiments carried out by Mr
,' T
whiils

2,.

*0 aft, though
r

a shorter

bement'
d, Mr.
has meionee

member Yof

if

intricate methodological

this

can be
uncertainty of a class of patterns

The
unit time, or per unit area.
which are
ways,
four
least
varied in at

'

let

Avital used
Scales

as

his

and

Cal

maluil

,
i

He

islil<e1y

an

mm
'

Israeli painter

..

'

with training in psychology.


.

He

grows out of the previous member according to a


Schfma wmkmg m our I1b""y in 1972'73- Mlanalysis of similarity judgments. various rating

"~ P131184 t0 his

in large

measure but,

in

own

works. The results continued

some

respects, they surprised

him

*0 fevlse his system. His ndings are not reported in this

book because the

...n

~~

is

Uclng a series of nonrepresentational paintings, each

l:;;]:in*m_:1SIn

6): P act a t.ions

and caused

aw-m-,4-r

Agital

wr}1p}:o

logjcmmathe

er.-..s..,....,.~.=~.~m

in
faptpear.

to beytl:

in experimental aesthetlirs
C5

Studies int 0 a""

m.a chapter of his own book (A"1=

in W935)-

amsf m history who camed out Cl-led Smdles

On

his

own works and who took

m Planning future works!


_

the results of such

~
,,

'4

22

D. E.

NEW EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS

BERLYNE

Individual Differences

Nevertheless, questions regarding individual differences are of compelling


importance, and some of our experiments broach them. Some differences
'

-"I~w.rssa;m~s~.~s-ea,--.._t.i......,g

aesthetics, call to mind maxims such


people, as soon as they think of
for
to his taste," There is no accounting
as Tastes differ, Every man
mans poison." They have come to
tastes, and One man's meat is another
phenomena
aesthetic reactions and aesthetic
believe that generalization about
works,
particular
discuss
only
implication is that one can
is impossible. The
at most,
or,
appreciators,
particular
of
artists, the likes and dislikes

between subjects with and without specialized training in the am are


presented and discussed in Chapters 2 and 6. Changes with age are considered

Many

particular

what

ways

all the experimental aesthetics of the past remote and recent has
concentrated on the reactions of western subjects with above-average
education. Tlus is true of most of the work done in our own laboratory

most of the studies in this book Such findings


D are of theoretical
persons
with one kt-rd of
to
confined
are
even
if
they
and
how
far the ndings
out
to
find
essential
But
it
is
clearly
background.
social
nervous
human
of
the
Characteristics
universal
reflect
obtained
that have been
of one
members
that
oflearning
kinds
system and how far they are due to the

is

i.'1ClLlClll'lg

culture or subculture undergo.

The only way

to settle this question

is

to

extend research to subjects from a wide variety of cultures. Chapter 12

its results. The same stimulus


translation of terms) were used
from
procedures
same
(apart
ill:
Tv:1:[:f1;b:1flt
cs rawn from three Ugandan populations and with Canadian

reports an initial foray in this direction and

'

_]

of population that has served the vast majority


Such crosyculruml research m
., years
for a great investment ofcffort in .comirv

Il7TS9nting the kind

:;bJ::15_
ies in
s

experimental aesthetics hitherto.

preferences can represent differ-

dependent to indethe same shape relating


ences in degree, e.g., curves of
troughs in different locations.
pendent variables but with peaks and
book are concerned with reactions of
Most of the studies in the present
descriptive
enable one to predict mainly
groups of subjects. The results
subject
same
the
of
other samples
statisticsmeans, trends, correlations-of
or to
populations
generalize them to other
population. It would be risky to
however,
of an individual subject. It must,
use them to predict the reactions
of
about the average reactions of groups
be borne in mind that information
stage towards
theoretically and as a first
people is not only of irtterest
importance.
practical
of
be
it can also
understanding individual differences,
director
interior
or
objectsthe architect
Designers of custom-made
for a
order
an
takes
who
house, the tailor
concerned with a unique dwelling
clients
individual
of
in the tastes
made-to-measure suitmust be interested
differ. But for those responsible
can
they
and be well aware of how widely
massproduced
buildings, urban environments,
for the design of public
predictions about
intended for mass audiences,
objects, and works of art
people, what will
to the greatest number of
group reactions-what will appeal
evaluation~are what matter.
receive the highest average

'

practical interest,

ofdiffering individuals turn

in different people. Dissimilar

3.

Almost

reactions
This beliefis mistaken. The aesthetic
underlying their undeniable
consistency
of
out to have an appreciable degree
have frequently found statistically
differences. We and other investigators
dozen or so subjects, who are admittedly
signicant group tendencies with a
homogeneous population. individual and
usually drawn from one relatively
asearch for
can hardly be overlooked. But
cultural variations in aesthetic taste
to examinis a necessary preliminary
general principles that apply to everybody
to
canbring light the
the range ofvariation.Tliis search
ing, and accounting for,
them in
reactions, even if they influence
variables that inuence aesthetic
different

Chapter

in
-=v-

history. This is, in fact, precisely


of particular societies or periods of
in speculative aesthetics, especially
done in a high proportion of the literature
in art theory.

23

experimental aesthetics

calls

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.

of