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Title: Method and theory in the psychology of art
Author: Pearn, M. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3480 9922
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1974
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The unsatisfactory state of the psychology of art as a field of enquiry is analysed and two explanations are offered. The current state of psychology is also analysed and recommendations for change are made which should also improve the psychology of art, particularly in terms of effectiveness and relevance. This is followed by a detailed discussion of three major approaches to the subject, viz. Psycho-analysis, Gestalt psychology and experimental aesthetics. The empirical approach is further analysed in terms of the specific problems of aesthetic measurement. Certain procedures and kinds of measurement are strongly discouraged, whereas other forms are encouraged. The ideas of the preceding four chapters are integrated in chapter five within the frame-work of implicit aesthetic theories, which can structure both the individual's and a culture's encounter with art. In addition it can be used to structure the field of enquiry, particularly with reference to the model of aesthetic perception which is discussed in chapter five. In general, an enlightened empiricism is called for which is based on a model of man akin to that of 'the man in the street'. The psychology of art should deal directly with the phenomenal experience of real works of art. To this end introspection is regarded as an indispensible source of hypotheses which can be tested within an empirical framework. It is unlikely that problems in psychological aesthetics can be resolved except through multilevel, multi-disciplinary explanations. The next four chapters contain discussions of major topics in the psychology of art, viz. the structure of aesthetic reactions; the influences and determinants of aesthetic reactions; the development of aesthetic appreciation; and the problem of meaning in visual art. The final chapter presents a summary and overview.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology