The Psychology of Aesthetics

Why does art evoke an hedonic response? As artists, Psychology Professors Steve Palmer and Art Shimamura have long been interested in what happens when we view art. They will share insights from their new book, Aesthetic Science, and seek your responses to their photography.

“Color, Music, and Emotion” (given at Google, June 30, 2011):

“Aesthetic Science of Color” (given at Stanford University, Feb. 11,

Steve Palmer’s photographs:

Art Shimamura’s photographs:

#Psychology #Aesthetics

Some Toughts (31)

  1. Avatar
    added on 11 Sep, 2013

    One criticism…..

    You treat colors in isolation, as though a color were a unitary object, whereas perceptually, colors (it seems to me) are very much contextual. For example, one object is more or less blue than another, more or less red than another. What I'm trying to say is that perceptually and psychologically, color is perhaps, very likely, not constant, but rather relative.

  2. Avatar
    added on 19 Jun, 2014

    Scientist really need to understand that especially contemporary works of art are not about matter, composition, color. Art constitutes a language, hence the work is trying to communicate something. All these elements are put in such a way in order to facilitate this communication, but they are not the work itself. Still, Shimamura's research might probably getting closer to the point. And indeed, MEMORY and its role in understanding the work has to be studied.

  3. Avatar
    added on 1 Jul, 2014

    I enjoyed this, thank you….

  4. Avatar
    added on 3 Aug, 2014

    the video is very informative thank you for sharing

  5. Avatar
    added on 31 Aug, 2014

    His L's. Oh my lord, it was driving me crazy.

  6. Avatar
    added on 19 Mar, 2015

    interesting presentations.

  7. Avatar
    added on 20 Apr, 2015

    As a professional concept artist I've grown to understand.. "people like what they know they like". It's a strange thought yes but it means once someone like something they like all thing similar. This seems to happen in different levels, in context, like if someone likes oranges, they will like all art associated with oranges, high quality or low quality. Another level would be craftsmanship, example all art that shows a high level of skill to make is appealing weather the subject is an orange or a banana so long as it's done well it's liked. Another aspect could be what story is being told, but that also context. I feel people are more bound by social standards than they know when it comes to liking what they like. Often those choices are made unconsciously so they can't know, but the reason isn't so much the art. Think along this line, often people just want to be liked so they like the things that best enhance that experience. Consciously people would disagree with that, but not there actions. Stepping outside who you think you are relative to the world around is new territory, doing so is risky for anybody. Whether you spend your time staying on top of all trends in your niche culture, or just spend time studying techniques in the abstract…So context and quality, once a group picks a context then they fight is over quality. Just so a person can master the group and be associated with knowing it's best art to define that group.

  8. Avatar
    added on 23 Apr, 2015

    1:11:39, Chomsky?

  9. Avatar
    added on 15 Dec, 2015

    how can I get on the mailing list?

  10. Avatar
    added on 21 Dec, 2015

    Drawing conclusions based on what anonymous people like only muddies the process of figuring out what you like and why. No answers here.

  11. Avatar
    added on 4 Mar, 2016

    This video gave me great notes for my Art Class. Thanks

  12. Avatar
    added on 21 May, 2016

    The aesthetic part of the object is not necessary anymore in Modernist art, actually what i understand from art history class, is that this is the big difference between art before and after 20 century, when for the first time in history an artwork was not necessary intended for aesthetic evaluation.
    But i didn't understand what DO we evaluate. Creativity? Statement? Building effort? Neither of these don't seem like art by them selves and some modern art pieces have none.
    I do bellieve that you have to evaluate what the artist intends to be evaluated, so first you must understand this. Maybe i just don't understand.

  13. Avatar
    added on 26 May, 2016

    I reckon that theres a factor that this guy isnt taking into account when he talks about colour associations to music – People could be subconsciously thinking of the colour of the instrument itself. So when they hear horns they might think of yellow, clarinets they might think of darker blues and browns, etc.

  14. Avatar
    added on 31 Jul, 2016

    7:18 this shit starts

  15. Avatar
    added on 29 Oct, 2016

    Who has baby poo colored nipples? I thought pink was normal.

  16. Avatar
    added on 3 Nov, 2016

    Would beauty have something to do with what we innately  find attractive in the opposite sex? There could b biological factor at play here!

  17. Avatar
    added on 11 May, 2017

    Why do they use so many onomatopoeias instead of actual words? It is a very interesting presentation but both seem quite ignorant of visual lexicon.

  18. Avatar
    added on 6 Jul, 2017

    The way I see it – art, whatever we may mean by that, is a human intended projection of meaning to whom it may concern. Artistic intentionality is importance in this regard.

  19. Avatar
    added on 29 May, 2018

    Describes art as a social and historical process. Jumps to explain art in terms of random stimuli inside the individual mind… Go figure.

  20. Avatar
    added on 29 Jul, 2018

    Berzerkeley , you have one good thing to your name in my book nothing done are said but someone posted a bit of learned. Wisdom on this part of the post, as for your school, i hope the. Professors are jailed and the army
    Brings in cannons and shells the buliding to rubble.

  21. Avatar
    added on 23 Aug, 2018

    Doesn't the Art World realise Duchamp was taking the piss out of, and pouring it back over, them ?

  22. Avatar
    added on 30 Oct, 2018

    Art is, at its base level, stylised communication. That's it. That's the definition. Anything beyond that simply adds to this definition.

  23. Avatar
    added on 7 May, 2019


  24. Avatar
    added on 10 May, 2019

    Very interesting talk with some great findings.

  25. Avatar
    added on 22 May, 2019

    There's nothing controversial about taking the artist into account for people who actually 'know about postmodernism'.. the point isn't that the artist doesn't matter, but that the effects generated by knowing about the artist become flattened into the artwork-as-text. /2ç

  26. Avatar
    added on 14 Nov, 2019

    what an intressting lecture

  27. Avatar
    added on 20 Feb, 2020

    The fact that the audience laughed at Duchamp's Urinal means, to me, that it isn't art. It is an object of comedy. If an audience laughed at it when it was first introduced by Duchamp, laugh at it today, and will laugh at it 1,000 years from now, means it isn't art. Instead, it is an object of ridicule when the attempt is to present it seriously. Of course, certain art will always appeal to some.

  28. Avatar
    added on 4 Jun, 2020


  29. Avatar
    added on 17 Jun, 2020

    To say I like this or that says more about you than what you like

  30. Avatar
    added on 14 Jul, 2020

    8:00 Skip the intro

  31. Avatar
    added on 3 Sep, 2020


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