Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

A Dual-Process Perspective on Fluency-Based Aesthetics: The Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking

ISSN-Print: 1088-8683
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015
Keywords: Empirical aesthetics; Processing fluency; Dual-process theories; Interest; Pleasure; Boredom; Confusion; Epistemic motivation; Need for cognitive enrichment

In this article, we develop an account of how aesthetic preferences can be formed as a result of two hierarchical, fluency-based processes. Our model suggests that processing performed immediately upon encountering an aesthetic object is stimulus driven, and aesthetic preferences that accrue from this processing reflect aesthetic evaluations of pleasure or displeasure. When sufficient processing motivation is provided by a perceiver’s need for cognitive enrichment and/or the stimulus’ processing affordance, elaborate perceiver-driven processing can emerge, which gives rise to fluency-based aesthetic evaluations of interest, boredom, or confusion. Because the positive outcomes in our model are pleasure and interest, we call it the Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking (PIA Model). Theoretically, this model integrates a dual-process perspective and ideas from lay epistemology into processing fluency theory, and it provides a parsimonious framework to embed and unite a wealth of aesthetic phenomena, including contradictory preference patterns for easy versus difficult-to-process aesthetic stimuli.