No accounting for taste? Idiographic models of aesthetic judgment in music
2016 (English)In: Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896, E-ISSN 1931-390X, Vol. 10, no 2, 157-170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Music is commonly regarded as one of the fine arts, but aesthetic responses to music are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated aesthetic judgments of music by using the tools of judgment analysis. The aim was to shed some light on the psychological process through which listeners use a set of subjective and differentially weighted criteria to assign aesthetic value to pieces of music. We used a stratified random sampling procedure to select 72 pieces of music from 12 genres. The pieces were divided across 2 groups of participants (N = 44), who rated each piece with regard to 7 aesthetic criteria (e.g., beauty, originality, expressivity) and overall aesthetic value. Both individual ("idiographic") and averaged ("nomothetic") multiple regression analyses were conducted on the listeners' judgments. The results revealed that (a) linear models provided a good fit to the listeners' aesthetic judgments (mean variance accounted for 76%), suggesting that the process is systematic and mainly additive; (b) some criteria (e.g., originality, skill) made a larger contribution to prediction than others overall; (c) there were wide individual differences between listeners concerning which criteria they used; (d) a nomothetic regression model did not adequately reflect the distinct judgment policies of individual listeners; (e) the trait openness to experience was not correlated with judgments of aesthetic value; and (f) listeners who scored high on the Beck Depression Inventory generally provided higher ratings of aesthetic value (r = .40) than listeners who scored low.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, no 2, 157-170 p.
aesthetics; judgment; modeling; music; preference
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269913DOI: 10.1037/aca0000034ISI: 000379783500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-269913DiVA: diva2:885464
FunderSwedish Research Council, 421-2010-2129