Jacobsen, T., & Höfel, L. (2002). Aesthetic judgments of novel graphic patterns: analyses of individual judgments. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 95(3 Pt 1), 755-766.

Aesthetic judgments of novel graphic patterns: analyses of individual judgments

Aesthetic judgments were investigated using a combined nomothetic and idiographic approach. Participants judged novel graphic patterns with respect to their own personal definitions of "beauty." Judgment analysis was employed to derive individual case models of judgment strategies as well as a group model. As predicted, symmetry had the highest correlations with aesthetic judgments of beauty. Stimulus complexity was the second-highest correlate of a positive evaluation. Thus, there was agreement at the group level. The judgment analyses, however, indicated substantial individual differences. These included use of symmetry or complexity cues that were contrary to the main group use, e.g., a few participants considered nonsymmetric patterns more beautiful. These findings suggest that exclusive consideration of the group model would have leveled the individual differences and been misleading. The group model is significant; however, the individual judgment analyses represent individual patterns of judgment in a notedly more accurate way.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
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Dagmar Schrödl
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Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

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