If I knew they were the expression of creativity in people with blindness, I would rate them higher - Bias in Evaluating the Work of People with Blindness

Magdalena Szubielska 1  and Agnieszka Fudali-Czyż 2
  • 1 The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, , Poland
  • 2 The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, , Poland


Objective: In our pilot study, we tested to what extent subjective understanding and aesthetic appreciation of em-bossed drawings were dependent on the information that their creators were people with disability. Method: Our research was carried out in a gallery of contemporary art with 30 adults who were non-experts in the field of visual arts. Subjects were asked to view the current exhibition and then evaluate their subjective understanding and aesthetic appreciation (liking and interest) of 12 embossed drawings on seven-point scales. Results: Participants who were aware that persons with blindness had created the drawings (the informed group) in contrast to those who remained unaware (the uninformed group) declared – both – greater subjective understanding and higher appreciation of the exhibited works. In the informed group (N = 15), in comparison to the uninformed group (N = 15), the correlation between appreciation and subjective understanding of artwork was stronger. Conclusions: We discuss our pattern of results considering the attributional approach to creativity (Kasof, 1995) and the model of a cognitive mastering process of aesthetic experiences (Leder, Belke, Oeberst, & Augustin, 2004). Our results can be used, among others, by educators working in art galleries and museums.

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