Advertisement

Bountiful Beauty: Increasing Appreciation of Beauty

  • Rhett DiessnerEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

A trait is defined as a stable pattern of behavior, cognition, emotion, and conation (choice making, the will); traits have a strong genetic component and are presumed to have adaptive value; but, nonetheless, can be substantially influenced by the environment, and thus develop and increase or deteriorate and lessen. In Positive Psychology, the traits of interest are called character strengths and virtues; appreciation of beauty (AoB) is one such trait. Traits can change levels fairly rapidly in childhood but become quite stable by age 30. The trait of Openness is highly associated with AoB. The trait of Openness increases from age 10 to 22; stays the same from age 22 to 50; has a small gain during age 50–60; and drops a fair amount from age 60 on. Based on a large meta-analytic study, it appears that Openness may be more difficult to intentionally change than any of the other four big traits. One study has found that giving elders inductive reasoning tasks to complete leads to an increase in trait Openness. There have been a handful of published studies which focused on interventions to increase AoB. One effective intervention, used across studies, is daily or weekly journaling about personal experiences of beauty (beauty logs).

Supplementary material

References

  1. Ahrens, A. H., & Cloutier, D. (2019). Acting for good reasons: Integrating virtue theory and social cognitive theory. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13, e12444.  https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aristotle. (2000). Nicomachean ethics (R. Crisp, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Original work ca. 340 BCE).Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring. A new model of positive experience. Malwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Chaplin, W. F., John, O. P., & Goldberg, L. R. (1988). Conceptions of states and traits: Dimensional attributes with ideals as prototypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(4), 541–557. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.54.4.541CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Costa, P., & McCrae, R. (1988). Personality in adulthood: A six-year longitudinal study of self-reports and spouse ratings on the NEO personality inventory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 853–863.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.54.5.853CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Diessner, R. (in press). Assessment of the trait of appreciation of Beauty. In W. Ruch, A. B. Bakker, L. Tay, & F. Gander (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology assessment. Zurich: European Association of Psychological Assessment.Google Scholar
  8. Diessner, R., Iyer, R., Smith, M., & Haidt, J. (2013). Who engages with moral beauty? Journal of Moral Education, 42, 139–163.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2013.785941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diessner, R., Kirk, C., Guenthner, C., Pohling, R., & Mobasher, S. (2017). Teaching the Psychology of Engagement with Beauty: State and Trait. Teaching of Psychology, 44 (1), 63–67. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628316679969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Diessner, R., Parsons, L., Solom, R., Frost, N., & Davidson, J. (2008). Engagement with beauty: Appreciating natural, artistic and moral beauty. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 142, 303–329.  https://doi.org/10.3200/JRLP.142.3.303-332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diessner, R., Rust, T., Solom, R., Frost, N., & Parsons, L. (2006). Beauty and hope: A moral beauty intervention. Journal of Moral Education, 35, 301–317.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240600874430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Diessner, R., Simmons, H., Genthôs, R., Lysne, H., & Arthur, K. (2019). Altar-ing aesthetic emotions: Exploring responses to ecologically valid natural, artistic, and moral beauty stimuli. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  13. Diessner, R., & Steiner, P. (2017). Interventions to increase trait appreciation of beauty. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 401–406. Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/library/p439739/indian-journal-of-positive-psychology
  14. Diessner, R., Woodward, D., Stacy, S., & Mobasher, S. (2015). Ten once-a-week brief beauty walks increase appreciation of natural beauty. Ecopsychology, 7, 126–133.  https://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2015.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Germer, C. K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  16. Güsewell, A., & Ruch, W. (2013). Are musicians particularly sensitive to beauty and goodness? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8, 96–103.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2004). Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]. In C. Peterson & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.), Character strengths and virtues (pp. 537–551). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hampson, S. E., & Goldberg, L. R. (2006). A first large cohort study of personality trait stability over the 40 years between elementary school and midlife. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(4), 763–779.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.91.4.763CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Jackson, J. J., Hill, P. L., Payne, B. R., Roberts, B. W., & Stine-Morrow, E. A. L. (2012). Can an old dog learn (and want to experience) new tricks? Cognitive training increases openness to experience in older adults. Psychology and Aging, 27, 286–292.  https://doi.org/10.1037/A0025918CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Kenney, E. J. (Ed.). (1990). Apuleius. Cupid and Psyche (E. J. Kenney, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Lewin, K. (1943). Psychology and the process of group living. Journal of Social Psychology, 17, 113–131.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224545.1943.9712269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MacLean, K. A., Johnson, M. W., & Griffiths, R. R. (2011). Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25, 1453–1461.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881111420188CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Martínez-Martí, M. L., Avia, M. D., & Hernández-Lloreda, M. J. (2014). Appreciation of beauty training: A web-based intervention. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(6), 477–481.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.920512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Martínez-Martí, M. L., Avia, M. D., & Hernández-Lloreda, M. J. (2018). Effects of an appreciation of beauty randomized-controlled trial web-based intervention on appreciation of beauty and well-being. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 12(3), 272–283.  https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Matthews, G., Deary, I. J., & Whiteman, M. C. (2009). Personality traits (3rd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Penn, M. (2000). Oedipus revisited. World Order, 32(1), 11–18.Google Scholar
  27. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (Eds.). (2004). Character strengths and virtues. A handbook of classification. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  28. Pohling, R., Diessner, R., Iyer, R., Stacy, S., Woodward, D., & Strobel, A. (2019). Reliability, validity, and measurement invariance of the Engagement with Beauty Scale-Revised. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  29. Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2016). Nine beautiful things: A self-administered online positive psychology intervention on the beauty in nature, arts, and behaviors increases happiness and ameliorates depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 189–193.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.01.028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Richardson, M., Cormack, A., McRobert, L., & Underhill, R. (2016). 30 days wild: Development and evaluation of a large-scale nature engagement campaign to improve well-being. PLoS One, 11(2), e0149777.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149777CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Richardson, M., & McEwan, K. (2018). 30 days wild and the relationships between engagement with nature’s beauty, nature connectedness and well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01500
  32. Roberts, B. W., & DelVecchio, W. F. (2000). The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: A quantitative review of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 3–25.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.126.1.3CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Roberts, B. W., Luo, J., Briley, D. A., Chow, P. I., Su, R., & Hill, P. L. (2017). A systematic review of personality trait change through intervention. Psychological Bulletin, 143(2), 117–141.  https://doi.org/10.1037/bul0000088CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 1–25.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.1CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Sartwell, C. (2006). Six names of beauty. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Schindler, I., Hosoya, G., Menninghaus, W., Beermann, U., Wagner, V., Eid, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2017). Measuring aesthetic emotions: A review of the literature and a new assessment tool. PLoS One, 12(6), e0178899.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178899CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Schwaba, T., Robins, R. W., Grijalva, E., & Bleidorn, W. (2019). Does openness to experience matter in love and work? Domain, facet, and developmental evidence from a 24-year longitudinal study. Journal of Personality, on-line.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Steger, M. F., Hicks, B. M., Kashdan, T. B., Krueger, R. F., & Bouchard, T. J. (2007). Genetic and environmental influences on the positive traits of the values in action classification, and biometric covariance with normal personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 524–539.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2006.06.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Williams, P. G., Suchy, Y., & Kraybill, M. L. (2013). Preliminary evidence for low openness to experience as a pre-clinical marker of incipient cognitive decline in older adults. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 945–951.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2013.09.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zabihian, S., & Diessner, R. (2016). Engagement with beauty and levels of happiness among artists in the UK. Global Journal of Human-Social Science: Arts & Humanities, 16(4), 1–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewistonUSA

Personalised recommendations