Aesthetics, Affect, and Cognition

  title={Aesthetics, Affect, and Cognition},
  author={Stephen Kaplan},
  journal={Environment and Behavior},
  pages={3 - 32}
  • S. Kaplan
  • Published 1 January 1987
  • Psychology
  • Environment and Behavior
Scenes of the outdoor physical environment vary substantially in the extent to which they are preferred. Variables empirically found to predict preference can be analyzed both in terms of their information-processing implications and in terms of their evolutionary significance. Some of these predictors appear to require fairly extensive information processing, thus supporting the hypothesis that a rapid, unconscious type of cognition may precede certain affective judgments. Such ties between… 

Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture

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Enacting the aesthetic: A model for raw cognitive dynamics

One challenge faced by aesthetics is the development of an account able to trace out the continuities and discontinuities between general experience and aesthetic experiences. Regarding this issue,

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Predictions derived from three models of the relations between cognitive processing of and preference responses to outdoor scenes were examined. Twelve scene types were identified, ranging from the

Perceptual Evaluation of Natural Landscapes

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What is a nice smile like that doing in a place like this? Automatic affective responses to environments influence the recognition of facial expressions

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Ten years of a model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments : The aesthetic episode - Developments and challenges in empirical aesthetics.

The current state of the descriptive information-processing model, and its relation to the major topics in empirical aesthetics today, including the nature of aesthetic emotions, the role of context, and the neural and evolutionary foundations of art and aesthetics are reviewed.



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Two sets of photographic slides, one made up of scenes from the geographic environment, the other of works of non-representational modern art, were scaled for complexity by obtaining judges’ ratings

The Prediction of Preference for Familiar Urban Places

The experience of the urban environment was studied in terms of how it is categorized, what people's preferences are, and the extent to which complexity and familiarity can account for these

On the primacy of affect.

Lazarus has challenged the view that there are circumstances under which affect precedes cognition and that affective arousal that does not entail prior cognitive appraisal exists. His argument,

On the Primacy of Cognition.

Zajonc and I differ greatly in our conceptualization of emotion and its relations with cognition, as well as in our evaluation of the evidence. My reply is in two parts. First, I discuss the

Affective discrimination of stimuli that are not recognized: effects of shadowing, masking, and cerebral laterality

Results from contingency probability analyses and data from replicated and extended the finding that mere exposure to a briefly presented stimulus can increase positive affect through familiarity without enhancing the recognition of that stimulus indicate that affect and recognition judgments are different.

Thoughts on the relations between emotion and cognition.

This paper argues that thought is a necessary condition of emotion. It therefore opposes the •stance taken by Zajonc, which reflects two widespread misunderstandings about what is meant by cognitive

Environmental Aesthetics: The Environment as a Source of Affect

One might be tempted to dismiss the preceding statement, made at a Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference on Natural Beauty, by the Conference Chairman, Frank Masland, Jr., as the sort of rhetoric

Critical importance of exposure duration for affective discrimination of stimuli that are not recognized.

This parametric study has specified the relationship between exposure duration and affect and recognition judgments and has located that temporal window.

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception

Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: The Environment To Be Perceived.The Animal And The Environment. Medium, Substances, Surfaces. The Meaningful Environment. Part II: The Information For Visual

Mystery in an Information Processing Model of Landscape Preference

This study looks at the validation of a refined definition of mystery to see whether observers perceive this dimension as an independent attribute of landscape scenery, and examines the physical factors which contribute to this perception.