Linguistic Analysis of Statements Concerning Paintings Viewed Under Different Instructions by Experts and Novices in the Visual Arts

Abstract

This research aimed to perform linguistic analysis of the statements of experts and novices in the arts concerning figurative paintings from the 16th to 19th century of different aesthetic value under different instructions. The experts were selected based on a formal criterion of education in visual arts. Based on previous research, the paintings were divided into three groups: beautiful, not beautiful and controversial. The participants viewed them from different points of view defined by seven instructions. The Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) was used to measure the connotation of statements in emotional and cognitive terms. Hypotheses, according to which the statements of novices are marked more with emotional, and those of experts more with cognitive processes, were only partially confirmed. It turned out that the emotional or cognitive connotation of statements concerning paintings is mostly modified by the point from which they are viewed and their aesthetic value.

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