Verbalising Our Appreciation of Art Influences Our Preferences
Talking about art can influence our appreciation of it. That’s what Ayumi Yamada found by asking half of 129 students to either verbalise their reasons for liking two paintings or their reasons for not liking them. One piece was representational, the other piece was abstract. The remaining participants were used as a controls and were only asked to view the paintings.
The participants who were asked to verbalize their reasons for liking the artworks were more likely to prefer the representational painting. Those who verbalised their reasons for disliking the paintings were also more likely to dislike the representational painting.
The results showed that verbalising their appreciation of art influenced the participants’ preferences. Yamada explained these findings suggesting that “due to its figurative qualities people will be encouraged to generate reasons to describe representational art, rather than abstract art, and that these reasons could potentially be biased and cause them to change their preferences in line with these reasons”.
Link to the original study