Appreciation contexts modulate aesthetic evaluation and perceived duration of pictures

Shihoko Arai, Hideaki Kawabata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


When looking at visual stimuli, context often easily affects elements of perception and cognition such as aesthetic evaluation, memory, and time perception. However, the relationships between aesthetic evaluation and time perception as influenced by context are not fully understood. This study's aim was to examine whether context can influence not only aesthetic evaluation but also time perception. To achieve this, a temporal reproduction task was used. Participants viewed stimuli in either an art context or a realistic context. Identical affective pictures were presented in one of three durations (2500 ms, 4500 ms, or 6500 ms) and the participants reproduced their perceived viewing time for each picture. The pictures were rated as more pleasant when viewed in the art context compared to the realistic context. Additionally, the perceived duration of identical visual stimuli differed according to the particular context. Thus, contextual differences were found to be attributed to different operations of a switch within the internal clock. In sum, context can influence both aesthetic evaluation and time perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalArt and Perception
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Aesthetic evaluation
  • Affective picture
  • Context
  • Perceived duration
  • Time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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