Turning Art into Mere Illustration: Concretizing Art Renders its Influence Context Dependent
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, August 1, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2011
Broadly speaking, artworks are accorded a special significance and are recognized as powerful communication tools. In the current research, the authors posit that the “specialness” of artworks may be diminished simply by emphasizing that which is depicted in them. This emphasis results in the artwork being viewed as a mere illustration rather than a work of art. Specifically, the influence of an “artwork as art” is context independent, but the influence of an “artwork as illustration” is context dependent. The authors demonstrate this phenomenon in two experiments, in the context of products associated with artworks. In a third experiment, they further demonstrate that an abstract (concrete) mind-set aligns with the influence of an artwork as art (illustration).
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