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Aesthetic Experience Anchors Ego Identity Formation

Department of Arts and Design, National Tsing Hua University, 521 Nan-Da Road, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan
Department of Landscape Architecture, National Chiayi University, 300 Syue-Fu Road, Chiayi 60004, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2596;
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
PDF [322 KB, uploaded 24 July 2018]


The development of a coherent identity status, also referred to as ego identity, is critical during adolescence and early-adulthood. In the long run, an individual’s ego identity status may influence the sustainability of his or her well-being. Researchers have attempted to discover the predictors or factors correlated with one’s identity status. In that search, aesthetic experience, as a unique means of knowing oneself and the world, seemed to be overlooked. Philosophical and psychological discourses have asserted that aesthetic experience stimulated identity discovery and formation; this hypothesis, however, is not supported by strong quantitative evidence. Thus, an empirical study with a quantitative approach was conducted to examine whether those who have frequent aesthetic experiences are more likely to possess a mature ego identity. A sample of 758 valid questionnaires was collected. The results supported the argument that aesthetic experience favors the development of ego identity. In addition, this study revealed that sociodemographic backgrounds such as women, fine arts and design majors, and religious individuals were more likely to have a rich aesthetic life. The results imply that aesthetic experience serves as a crucial aspect that contributes to the wellness of personality development and promotes a healthy and sustainable quality of life. View Full-Text
Keywords: aesthetic sensitivity; ego identity; individual sustainability; emerging adult aesthetic sensitivity; ego identity; individual sustainability; emerging adult

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Yu, C.-Y.; Wang, P.-C. Aesthetic Experience Anchors Ego Identity Formation. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2596.

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