Special Issue "Empirical Aesthetics"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Helmut Leder
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Empirical Visual Aesthetics (EVA) Lab, Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Interests: visual empirical aesthetics, psychology of the arts, design, face perception
Dr. Andreas Gartus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Empirical Visual Aesthetics (EVA) Lab, Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Interests: visual empirical aesthetics, psychology of the arts, low-level visual features (symmetry, complexity, etc.), context effects

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research into symmetry perception has a long tradition. Symmetry is a salient visual property that can be detected rapidly by the human visual system. In addition, it has been known for a long time that symmetry is also an important factor influencing aesthetic evaluation (and complexity judgments). This has been shown for human faces, artificial black-and-white patterns, and other neutral stimuli.

However, visual symmetry seems to be less relevant for the aesthetic appreciation of artworks. Thus, the role of symmetry in aesthetic appreciation remains an open field of research, and especially in the case of complex images like artworks or real world scenes, the role of symmetry is still somewhat unclear, as perfect symmetry is rare in such images.

This special issue on Empirical Aesthetics welcomes submissions of previously unpublished experimental, theoretical, and review papers on the role of symmetry (and related concepts like balance, composition, visual complexity etc.) in aesthetic evaluation and appreciation of artificial stimuli, faces, real world objects, and artworks, as well as research on individual differences in preference for symmetry.

Prof. Dr. Helmut Leder
Dr. Andreas Gartus
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • empirical aesthetics
  • preference
  • symmetry
  • balance
  • composition

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Symmetry and Balance as Factors of Aesthetic Appreciation: Ethel Puffer’s (1903) “Studies in Symmetry” Revised
Symmetry 2019, 11(12), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11121468 - 02 Dec 2019
Abstract
Symmetry and balance are basic concepts in art theory for the composition of pictures. It is assumed that well-balanced pictures are preferred to unbalanced ones. One of the first experimental studies to test this assumption was conducted more than a century ago by [...] Read more.
Symmetry and balance are basic concepts in art theory for the composition of pictures. It is assumed that well-balanced pictures are preferred to unbalanced ones. One of the first experimental studies to test this assumption was conducted more than a century ago by Ethel Puffer. By applying a production method, she found little evidence for the hypothesis that balance is favorable for the aesthetical appreciation of pictures. Instead, she observed that other construction principles competing with balance, such as bilateral symmetry and closeness, were applied. The aim of the present study was to repeat some of Puffer’s experiments with modern methods and to examine whether her results are replicable. In two experiments, we also found little to no evidence for balance. Moreover, as in Puffer’s study, participants used closeness and bilateral symmetry as principles. However, compared to that study, the relative frequency of use of these principles was quite different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Empirical Aesthetics)
Open AccessArticle
Symmetrical Patterns of Ainu Heritage and Their Virtual and Physical Prototyping
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11080985 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article addresses virtual and physical prototyping of some symmetrical patterns collected from the Ainu cultural heritage. The indigenous people living in the northern part of Japan (e.g., Hokkaido), known as Ainu, often decorate their houses, clothing, ornaments, utensils, and spiritual goods using [...] Read more.
This article addresses virtual and physical prototyping of some symmetrical patterns collected from the Ainu cultural heritage. The indigenous people living in the northern part of Japan (e.g., Hokkaido), known as Ainu, often decorate their houses, clothing, ornaments, utensils, and spiritual goods using some unique patterns. The patterns carry their identity as well as their sense of aesthetics. Nowadays, different kinds of souvenirs and cultural artifacts crafted with Ainu patterns are cherished by many individuals in Japan and abroad. Thus, the Ainu patterns carry both cultural and commercial significance. A great deal of craftsmanship is needed to produce the Ainu patterns precisely. There is a lack of human resources having such craftsmanship. It will remain the same in the foreseeable future. Thus, there is a pressing need to preserve such craftsmanship. Digital manufacturing technology can be used to preserve the Ainu pattern-making craftsmanship. From this perspective, this article presents a methodology to create both virtual and physical prototypes of Ainu patterns using digital manufacturing technology. In particular, a point cloud-based approach was adopted to model the patterns. A point cloud representing a pattern was then used to create a virtual prototype of the pattern in the form of a solid CAD model. The triangulation data of each solid CAD model were then used to run a 3D printer to produce a physical prototype (replica of the pattern). The virtual and physical prototypes of both basic (Hokkaido) Ainu motifs and some synthesized patterns were reproduced using the presented methodology. The findings of this study will help those who want to digitize the craftsmanship of culturally significant artifacts without using a 3D scanner or image processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Empirical Aesthetics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Perceived Beauty of Regular Polygon Tessellations
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11080984 - 02 Aug 2019
Abstract
Beauty judgments for regular polygon tessellations were examined in two experiments. In experiment 1 we tested the three regular and eight semi-regular tilings characterized by a single vertex. In experiment 2 we tested the 20 demi-regular tilings containing two vertices. Observers viewed the [...] Read more.
Beauty judgments for regular polygon tessellations were examined in two experiments. In experiment 1 we tested the three regular and eight semi-regular tilings characterized by a single vertex. In experiment 2 we tested the 20 demi-regular tilings containing two vertices. Observers viewed the tessellations at different random orientations inside a circular aperture and rated them using a numeric 1–7 scale. The data from the first experiment show a peak in preference for tiles with two types of polygons and for five polygons around a vertex. Triangles were liked more than other geometric shapes. The results from the second experiment demonstrate a preference for tessellations with a greater number of different kinds of polygons in the overall pattern and for tiles with the greatest difference in the number of polygons between the two vertices. Ratings were higher for tiles with circular arrangements of elements and lower for those with linear arrangements. Symmetry group p6m was liked the most and groups cmm and pmm were liked the least. Taken as a whole the results suggest a preference for complexity and variety in terms of both vertex qualities and symmetric transformations. Observers were sensitive to both the underlying mathematical properties of the patterns as well as their emergent organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Empirical Aesthetics)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The Perceived Beauty of Regular Polygon Tessellations
Author: Professor Jay Friedenberg
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY 10471. [email protected]
Abstract: Beauty judgments for regular polygon tessellations were examined in two experiments. In experiment 1 we tested the three regular and eight semi-regular tilings characterized by a single vertex. In experiment 2 we tested the 20 demi-regular tilings containing two vertices. Observers viewed the tessellations at different random orientations inside a circular aperture and rated them using a numeric 1 – 7 scale. The data from the first experiment show a peak in preference for tiles with two types of polygons and for five polygons around a vertex. Triangles were liked more than other geometric shapes. The results from the second experiment demonstrate a preference for tessellations with a greater number of different kinds of polygons in the overall pattern and for tiles with the greatest difference in the number of polygons between the two vertices. Ratings were higher for tiles with circular arrangements of elements and lower for those with linear arrangements. Symmetry group p6m was liked the most and groups cmm and pmm were liked the least. Taken as a whole the results suggest a preference for complexity and variety in terms of both vertex qualities and symmetric transformations. Observers were sensitive to both the underlying mathematical properties of the patterns as well as their emergent organization.

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