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Aesthetics

The psychology of aesthetics is the study of people’s reactions to, and interactions with, aspects of their environment. This field of study has deep roots dating back to the late 1800s. Thus, for more than a century, scholars have explored people’s aesthetic responses to music, literature, poetry, and performance as well as to human faces and bodies, everyday and design objects, natural and built environments, and artworks. Artworks have arguably received the most attention from scholars studying aesthetics.

This entry focuses on people’s aesthetic responses to art at different points of the lifespan, from early childhood to adulthood. Emphasis is placed on the receptive, aesthetic side of the experience of art, not on the productive, creative side. However, it is important to note that the ...

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