Abstract

Höfel, L., & Jacobsen, T. (2007). Electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics: a result of judgment categorization or judgment report? Journal of Psychophysiology, 21(1), 9-21.

Electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics: a result of judgment categorization or judgment report?

Evaluative aesthetic judgments and descriptive symmetry judgments were compared. Electrophysiological activity was recorded while participants judged the aesthetic value or the symmetry status of novel graphic black and white patterns. In order to experimentally separate judgment categonzation processes and judgment report processes, participants were instructed to misreport their true actual judgment in half of the trials. Three effects found in a previous study were examined: (1) an early frontocentral effect for the evaluation of not-beautiful patterns reflecting an early impression formation, (2) a more pronounced ERP lateralization to the right for the aesthetic judgment task in comparison to the symmetry judgment task reflecting evaluative categorization, and (3) a sustained posterior effect for the visual analysis of symmetric patterns. In this study, (1) and (3) were replicated independent of the validity of the response, but (2) was affected by the validity, i.e., the effect was abolished in the false condition. Thus, results allowed further specification of cognitive processes involved in judgments of symmetry or aesthetics. Given present data, the ERP effects predominantly reflect judgment categorization and not judgment report.



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