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New Directions in Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts
Edited by Paul Locher, Colin Martindale and Leonid Dorfman
Foundations and Frontiers of Aesthetics Series, Series Editors: Colin Martindale and Arnold Berleant

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The contributing authors to this book, all preeminent scholars in their fields, present their current thinking about the processes that underlie creativity and aesthetic experience. They discuss established theory and research, and provide creative speculation on future problems for inquiry and new approaches to conceptualizing and investigating these phenomena. The book contains many new findings and ideas, never before published or new by virtue of the novel context in which they are incorporated. Thus, the chapters present both new approaches to old problems and new ideas and approaches not yet explored by leading scholars in these fields.

The first part of the book is devoted to understanding the nature of the perceptual/cognitive and aesthetic processes that occur during encounters with visual art stimuli in everyday settings, in museums, and while watching films. Also discussed in Part I is how cultural and anthropological approaches to the study of aesthetic responses to art contribute to our understanding about the development of a culture's artistic canon and to crosscultural aesthetic universals.

Part II presents new dimensions in the study of creativity. Two approaches to the development of a comprehensive theory of creativity are presented: Sternberg's Investment Theory of Creativity and a systems perspective of creativity based on a metaindividual world model. Also covered are the factors that contribute to cinematic creativity and a film's cinematic success, and the complex nature of the creative processes and research approaches involved in the innovative product design necessitated by the introduction of electronics in consumer products.

Part III deals with the application of concepts and models from cognitive psychology to the study of music, literary meaning, and the visual arts. The contributors outline a model of the cognitive processes involved in real-time listening to music, investigate what readers are doing when they read a literary text, describe what research shows about the transfer of learning from the arts to non-arts cognition, and discuss the kinds of thinking skills that emerge from the study of the visual arts by high school students.

In Part IV, the authors focus on the interactive contribution of observers' personalities and affect states to the creation and perception of art. The chapters include a discussion of the internal mechanisms by which personality expresses itself during the making of and the response to art; the relationship between emotion and cognition in aesthetics, in terms of the interaction of top-down and bottom-up processes across the time course of an aesthetic episode; the affective processes that take place during pretend play and their impact on the development of creativity in children; and the causes and consequences of listeners' intense experiences while listening to music.

Paul Locher
is Professor of Psychology at Montclair State University. He has held positions as Visiting Scholar at Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology, and the University of Leuven. He received a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Temple University (1973). Locher is President of American Psychological Association Division 10 (Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts) (2004-2005) and President and Fellow of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (2004-2006); he has been a member of the Psychonomic Society since 1982. He is editor of Empirical Studies of the Arts and on the editorial boards of Acta Psychologica and the Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts. His research findings have been published as book chapters and in many articles, in such journals as Perception, Acta Psychologica, Leonardo, Perception and Psychophysics, Computers and Mathematics with Applications, and Empirical Studies of the Arts. Locher received the 1999 Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Psychological Association and the New Jersey Psychological Association for his work in the field of experimental aesthetics. The major focus of his work is the influence of pictorial symmetry and balance on the creation, perception, and aesthetic evaluation of visual art. He also explores the effects of presentation format (original paintings housed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art versus slide-projected and computer-generated images and paper reproductions of the originals) and viewer training in the visual arts on the perception of pictorial and aesthetic qualities of paintings.

Colin Martindale is Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine and Honorary Professor at the Perm (Russia) State Institute of Arts and Culture. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University (1970) and a Doctorat Honoris Causa from the Université Catholique de Louvain (1988). He is an Academician of the International Informatization Academy (Moscow). Martindale was president of American Psychological Association Division 10 (Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts) (1986-87), the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (1994-98), and the Perm Institute of Sociocultural Dynamics (2002-2004). His awards include the 1984 Socio-Psychological Prize, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the 1998 Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychology and the Arts and the 2001 Paul M. Farnsworth Award for Outstanding Contributions to APA Division 10, from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association; and the 2000 Gustav Theodor Fechner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Empirical Aesthetics, from the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. He has served as editor of Empirical Studies of the Arts (1983-2005) and Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts (2001-2004) and is currently on the editorial boards of the Creativity Research Journal, Journal of Creative Behavior, and Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology. He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications; his major books include Romantic Progression: The Psychology of Literary History (1975), The Clockwork Muse: The Predictability of Artistic Change (1990), Cognition and Consciousness (1981), and Cognitive Psychology: A Neural-Network Approach (1991). Martindale's current interests include sociocultural evolution, neural-network explanations of aesthetic preference and creativity, and the relationship between physics and psychology.

Leonid Dorfman is Head of the Department of Psychology at Perm State Institute of Art and Culture, Perm, Russia. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from Leningrad State University (1982) and a D.Sc. in psychology from the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow (1994). Dorfman is a member of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (since 1999), International Council of Psychologists (since 1991), International Society for Theoretical Psychology (since 1993), Russian Psychological Society (since 1995), and an international affiliate of the American Psychological Association (since 1995). He was Director of the International Council of Psychologists (1998-2000). Dorfman has received a prize from the Soros Foundation in Russia (1996) and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Biographical Institute for Outstanding Contributions to World Psychology (1999). He was co-head of the international project "Art and Emotion" (1990-1992) and of the Russian-North American project "Emotion, Creativity, and Art" (1995-2000). He served as guest editor of the Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts (2002) and Journal of Russian and Early European Psychology (2000). Dorfman has 277 publications including seven monographs. His most recent major books are Integral Individuality, Self-conception, and Personality and Metaindividual World and the Plural Self: Creativity, the Arts, and Ethos (both 2004).

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Researchers and scholars in the fields of creativity, aesthetics, and psychology of the arts (visual arts, literature, music).

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New Directions in Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts

Editor: Paul Locher, Colin Martindale and Leonid Dorfman
Cloth ISBN:
Page Count: 288
Copyright: 2006

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