A Behavioral and Biological Analysis of Aesthetics: Implications for Research and Applications

@article{Mechner2018ABA,
  title={A Behavioral and Biological Analysis of Aesthetics: Implications for Research and Applications},
  author={Francis Mechner},
  journal={The Psychological Record},
  year={2018},
  volume={68},
  pages={287 - 321}
}
  • F. Mechner
  • Published 19 June 2017
  • Psychology, Art
  • The Psychological Record
Seeking to identify the common and distinguishing attributes of effects one might call “aesthetic,” I examined hundreds of examples in music, visual arts, poetry, literature, humor, performance arts, architecture, science, mathematics, games, and other disciplines. I observed that all involve quasi-emotional reactions to stimuli that are composites of multiple elements that ordinarily do not occur together and whose interaction, when appropriately potentiated, is transformative—different in… 
22 Citations
Behavioral Functions of Aesthetics: Science and Art, Reason, and Emotion
In his landmark article for this journal, Francis Mechner (2017) presents a novel analysis of the confluence of unique combinations of variables accounting for aesthetic experiences, a phenomenon he
The behavioral architecture and biological utility of aesthetic reactions
  • F. Mechner
  • Psychology
    European Journal of Behavior Analysis
  • 2019
ABSTRACT The article presents a behavioral and biological theory as to how aesthetic reactions form. It takes a naturalistic perspective in exploring the likely phylogenetic origins of aesthetic
A Functional Analysis of “Aesthetic”: A Commentary on Mechner
In his target article, Mechner provides a bio-behavioral analysis of effects called “aesthetic.” He then examines hundreds of such effects across a wide range of literary, artistic, and scientific
A Technology of Aesthetic Appreciation: Tweaking the Reinforcing Potency of Synergetic Events
  • R. Mellon
  • Psychology
    The Psychological Record
  • 2018
Despite an extensive history of serviceable analyses of behavior–environment conditions arranged by artists to elicit aesthetic experience, unforeseen transformational effects controlling aesthetic
Mechner’s Reply to the Commentaries on His Article, “A Behavioral and Biological Analysis of Aesthetics”
The commentaries prompted my realization that it is more useful to view the core of the aesthetic reaction as composed of a set of Pavlovian respondents than as a quasi-emotional reaction. They also
Once More, with Feeling: the Role of Familiarity in the Aesthetic Response
This article argues that familiarity is an important ingredient of the aesthetic brew, potentially more important than the tinge of surprise. Most of the examples are drawn from the psychology of
Challenge of the Ineffable: Concerning Mechner’s “a Behavioral and Biological Analysis of Aesthetics”
Meticulously organized and comprehensive as it is, Mechner’s account doesn’t quite capture the quicksilverish nature of aesthetic events and reactions. He is not alone in this, for the grammatical
What Influences Audience Response to Figure Painting?
According to Mechner (2017), the aesthetic response is characterized by a “surprise-tinged” emotion that has no immediate function and tends to be reinforcing, and is influenced by the social context
A Naturalistic and Behavioral Theory of Aesthetics
Aesthetic reactions occur when cognitive and affective elements interact, in diverse arts. Affective elements result from past Pavlovian conditioning events and other sources. Compounding raises
A Behavioral Interpretation of Aesthetics
  • D. Palmer
  • Psychology
    The Psychological Record
  • 2018
A behavioral interpretation of aesthetics will doubtless require a series of successive approximations to reach a wholly satisfactory formulation. The present article is an attempt to refine part of
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 107 REFERENCES
The Origins of Aesthetics: A Neurobiological Basis for Affective Feelings and Aesthetics
In this chapter a theory of the origins of aesthetics is described. This has its roots in emotion, in which what is pleasant or unpleasant, a reward or punisher, is the result of an evolutionary
Toward a Science of Aesthetics issues and ideas
What happens when we experience a work of art? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? Can science help us derive general principles about aesthetics, or is there really “no accounting for
Bridging the Arts and Sciences: A Framework for the Psychology of Aesthetics
The investigation of aesthetic processing has constituted a longstanding tradition in experimental psychology, of which experimental aesthetics is the second-oldest branch. The status of this
Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts
Part I. Concepts, Theories and Methods: 1. Introduction by the editors Jeffrey K. Smith and Pablo P. L. Tinio 2. Empirical aesthetics: hindsight and foresight Oshin Vartanian 3. Philosophy of art and
Neuroculture: art, aesthetics, and the brain
  • E. Rolls
  • Psychology, Art
    Rendiconti Lincei
  • 2014
A theory of the neurobiological foundations of aesthetics and art is described. This has its roots in emotion, in which what is pleasant or unpleasant, a reward or punisher, is the result of an
The Aesthetic Mind: Philosophy and Psychology
Introduction PART 1: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE AESTHETIC 1. The Master of the Masek Beds: Handaxes, Art and the Minds of Early Humans 2. The Fragility of Aesthetic Knowledge: Aesthetic Psychology and
The stitching and the unstitching: What can behavior analysis have to say about creativity?
  • M. Marr
  • Psychology
    The Behavior analyst
  • 2003
TLDR
This essay explores several lines of research and conceptual issues from different sources in an effort to refute traditional critics of behaviorism and behavior analysis, with an emphasis on scientific and mathematical creativity.
What Studying Leadership Can Teach Us About the Science of Behavior
TLDR
By analyzing leaders’ actions and their results, the authors can appreciate that cultural and behavioral phenomena are different, and although cultural phenomena are inherently complex and in many cases do not lend themselves to replication, not only should the science of behavior account for them, cultural phenomena should also constitute a major area of behavior analysis study and application.
Neural correlates of beauty.
TLDR
The results show that the perception of different categories of paintings are associated with distinct and specialized visual areas of the brain, that the orbito-frontal cortex is differentially engaged during the Perception of beautiful and ugly stimuli, regardless of the category of painting.
...
...