Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 355–358

Skin conductance and aesthetic evaluative responses to nonrepresentational works of art varying in symmetry

  • Elizabeth Krupinski
  • Paul Locher

DOI: 10.3758/BF03337681

Cite this article as:
Krupinski, E. & Locher, P. Bull. Psychon. Soc. (1988) 26: 355. doi:10.3758/BF03337681


Skin conductance was recorded as 11 subjects judged the aesthetic potential of abstract works of art and their single- and double-axis symmetrical transformations. It was found that the more structurally complex asymmetrical originals elicited higher levels of arousal than the less complex single-axis symmetrical transformations, which elicited greater arousal than the double- axis transformations. Subjects’ ratings of the hedonic value of the compositions were directly related to the arousal increment gained from viewing the stimuli. The results are discussed in terms of Berlyne’s (1960) theory of aesthetic behavior regarding the relationship among complexity, arousal, and hedonic value.

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Krupinski
    • 1
  • Paul Locher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMontclair State CollegeUpper Montclair