It has recently been discovered that during a virtual reality task of painting, if the subjects have the illusion of recreating an artistic masterpiece, they improve their performances and perceive less fatigue compared to simply coloring a virtual canvas. This phenomenon has been called the Michelangelo effect. However, it was unclear if this effect was related to the aesthetic experience of beauty or if it was specific to artistic stimuli. To clarify this point, 26 healthy subjects performed the virtual task of erasing a blank sheet on the canvas, revealing an image that could be a painting or a photo, classified as beautiful or not. Beautiful paintings were famous artistic portraits, non-beautiful paintings were rough reproductions of them. Photos of popular people were matched with paintings according to their similarity for somatic traits, posture, and clothes. Beautiful and non-beautiful photos were classified according to whether the pictured person was famous or not for their beauty. For each stimulus the objective beauty, subjective beauty, and effort to complete the task perceived by the subject were self-assessed on a numerical rating scale, recorded and analyzed. Furthermore, the hand kinematic trajectory was instrumentally recorded and its spatiotemporal parameters were computed. Less fatigue was perceived for the paintings than for the photos (p = .020), but not for beautiful versus non-beautiful stimuli (p = .325). Only in the artistic stimuli, subjective beauty was found to be negatively correlated with perceived fatigue (p = .030) and performed errors (p = .005). The kinematic parameters were found to be affected by the interactions between the gender of the participant and that of the person in the photo. These results supported the idea that the Michelangelo effect was stronger when subjects interacted with artefacts, modulated by the perceived beauty of the artistic stimulus.

Inside the Michelangelo effect: The role of art and aesthetic attractiveness on perceived fatigue and hand kinematics in virtual painting

Morone, Giovanni;
2022-01-01

Abstract

It has recently been discovered that during a virtual reality task of painting, if the subjects have the illusion of recreating an artistic masterpiece, they improve their performances and perceive less fatigue compared to simply coloring a virtual canvas. This phenomenon has been called the Michelangelo effect. However, it was unclear if this effect was related to the aesthetic experience of beauty or if it was specific to artistic stimuli. To clarify this point, 26 healthy subjects performed the virtual task of erasing a blank sheet on the canvas, revealing an image that could be a painting or a photo, classified as beautiful or not. Beautiful paintings were famous artistic portraits, non-beautiful paintings were rough reproductions of them. Photos of popular people were matched with paintings according to their similarity for somatic traits, posture, and clothes. Beautiful and non-beautiful photos were classified according to whether the pictured person was famous or not for their beauty. For each stimulus the objective beauty, subjective beauty, and effort to complete the task perceived by the subject were self-assessed on a numerical rating scale, recorded and analyzed. Furthermore, the hand kinematic trajectory was instrumentally recorded and its spatiotemporal parameters were computed. Less fatigue was perceived for the paintings than for the photos (p = .020), but not for beautiful versus non-beautiful stimuli (p = .325). Only in the artistic stimuli, subjective beauty was found to be negatively correlated with perceived fatigue (p = .030) and performed errors (p = .005). The kinematic parameters were found to be affected by the interactions between the gender of the participant and that of the person in the photo. These results supported the idea that the Michelangelo effect was stronger when subjects interacted with artefacts, modulated by the perceived beauty of the artistic stimulus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/235841
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