DOI: 10.1177/17470218231200955 ISSN:

EXPRESS: Database of Expressionists’, Impressionists’ and Post-Impressionists’ paintings: affective norms for sixty art pieces

Kamil Imbir, Adrianna Wielgopolan, Julia Stępniewska, Katarzyna Benda
  • Physiology (medical)
  • General Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology

Modern painters’ art not only is different to canvas created earlier, but also shows high internal variability. Aware of the conditions arising from art history, we used paintings from three art movements - impressionism, post-impressionism and expressionism to see if we are able to respond to claims made by art theorists by using methods specific to social sciences and validate the paintings as stimuli which might evoke different emotional reaction based on the movement they were created in; we wanted to conduct an exploratory analysis comparing the mean assessment of valence, arousal and dominance amongst the three art movements. 60 different paintings were selected (20 for each art movement) showing figurative works and visible human figures. They were assessed on five different affective scales: valence, arousal, dominance, origin, and subjective significance with use of Self-Assessment Manikins. Results showed expected differences in affective reactions to expressionists’ paintings compared with impressionists’ and post-impressionists’. Therefore, we provided the very first dataset of emotional stimuli with validated affective norms, categorized by the art movement that they were created in and ready to be used in future experimental studies.

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