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Implicit and explicit features of paintings

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Implicit features of the paintings are properties that are imposed by the observer (e.g. how pleasant, interesting, tense a painting appears), whereas explicit features refer to properties that can be directly perceived (form, color, depth, etc.). The aim of Experiments 1 and 2 was to investigate the underlying structure of implicit and explicit features of paintings using the factor analysis of elementary judgments. In the preliminary studies, representative sets of paintings and elementary implicit and explicit dimensions (in the form of bipolar scales) were selected. Four implicit factors were extracted: Regularity, Relaxation, Hedonic Tone and Arousal. Four explicit factors were extracted: Form, Color, Space and Complexity. The following significant correlations between implicit and explicit factors were obtained: Regularity–Form, Regularity–Space, Hedonic Tone–Form and Arousal–Complexity. In Experiment 3 the role of implicit and explicit factors in similarity–dissimilarity ratings was specified. Significant correlations between the position of paintings in MDS space and mean judgments of explicit factors Color, Space and Complexity and implicit factor Relaxation were obtained, suggesting that similarity ratings of paintings are primarily based on explicit features. The causal relation of explicit and implicit features is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade, Serbia; 2: Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA


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