The effect of photographic style on viewer suppositions about the photographer

[Speaker] Yoneyama, Kana:1
[Co-author] Ishiguro, Chiaki:1, Okada, Takeshi:1
1:The University of Tokyo (Japan)

Viewers of a work of art sometimes think empathically about its creator. Bullot and Reber (2013) have suggested that conjecture on why and how a work of art was created by the artist is necessary for developing empathic artistic understanding. This study examined whether the photographs with imaginary subjects elicited viewer thoughts on how they were created. An experiment was conducted using a one-factor between-subjects design. Twenty undergraduate students were randomly allocated to two conditions: a "reality" condition in which participants viewed eight realistic photographs, and a "fiction" condition in which participants viewed eight photographs with imaginary subjects. Participants expressed their thoughts aloud during the viewing and later completed questionnaires. The findings indicated that viewers of photographs with imaginary subjects thought more about how the photographer created them than viewers of realistic photographs did. These findings suggest that viewers are involved in empathic processing when appreciating photographs with imaginary subjects.
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