The golden ratio (GR) is an irrational number (close to 1.618) that repeatedly occurs in nature as well as in masterpieces of art. The GR has been considered a proportion perfectly representing beauty since ancient times, and it was investigated in several scientific fields, but with conflicting results. This study aims at investigating if this proportion is associated with a judgment of beauty independently of the type of the stimulus, and the factors that may affect this aesthetic preference. In Experiment 1, an online psychophysical questionnaire was administered to 256 volunteers asked to choose among three possible proportions between the parts of the same stimulus (GR, 1.5, and 1.8). In Experiment 2, we recorded eye movements in 15 participants who had to express an aesthetic judgment on the same stimuli of Experiment 1. The results revealed a slight overall preference for GR (53%, p <.001), with higher preferences for stimuli representing humans, anthropomorphic sculptures, and paintings, regardless of the cultural level. In Experiment 2, a shorter dwell time was significantly associated with a better aesthetic judgment (p =.005), suggesting the possibility that GR could be associated with easier visual processing, and it could be hence considered as a visual affordance.

The golden ratio as an ecological affordance leading to aesthetic attractiveness

Morone G.;
2021

Abstract

The golden ratio (GR) is an irrational number (close to 1.618) that repeatedly occurs in nature as well as in masterpieces of art. The GR has been considered a proportion perfectly representing beauty since ancient times, and it was investigated in several scientific fields, but with conflicting results. This study aims at investigating if this proportion is associated with a judgment of beauty independently of the type of the stimulus, and the factors that may affect this aesthetic preference. In Experiment 1, an online psychophysical questionnaire was administered to 256 volunteers asked to choose among three possible proportions between the parts of the same stimulus (GR, 1.5, and 1.8). In Experiment 2, we recorded eye movements in 15 participants who had to express an aesthetic judgment on the same stimuli of Experiment 1. The results revealed a slight overall preference for GR (53%, p <.001), with higher preferences for stimuli representing humans, anthropomorphic sculptures, and paintings, regardless of the cultural level. In Experiment 2, a shorter dwell time was significantly associated with a better aesthetic judgment (p =.005), suggesting the possibility that GR could be associated with easier visual processing, and it could be hence considered as a visual affordance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/181919
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