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← Beholding beauty: How it's been studied

QuestioningKat's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by QuestioningKat

If it's acceptable to say people's intelligence is inferior, why is it unacceptable to say their aesthetic judgement (which resides in the same brain) is inferior?

Thank you! Many people have inferior aesthetic judgement. I believe some of it is cultural while some aesthetic inferiority comes from poor or uneducated observation skills. Some people just are not exposed frequently enough to quality. I recall a conversation, not sure is it was here, about experts needing to be superior in some sort of pursuit in order to be able to properly see if something or someone is lacking in an area. People may lack the ability to see their own shortcomings and naively or arrogantly inflate their abilities. I recall going to a championship figure skating competition. Without a TV commentator reviewing and replaying the skater's moves, I could not tell why one skater rated so poorly while the other had higher marks.

IMO, each and every area of art, each and every style, genre, ability, etc. has objective criteria in which it can be judged. Yet very few people are at this skill level themselves in order to be able to judge it. Some forms of art require superior observational skills, hand-eye coordination, sense of color, proportion, design, etc. while other art forms have a completely different set of criteria. I have met plenty of artists who are better at talking about an overflowing bucket of water and cannot even draw.

People's choices in style and aesthetics reveal much about them. Your choice in shoes, car, color, hairstyle, tell the aesthetically educated person about your level of income, education, preferences, culture, attitude, where you live geographically, etc. Like it or not, some people have a hierarchy of acceptability and quickly and maybe subconsciously rate you based on their views. Sales marketing knows who you are and what you like and don't like. Choose Bach or Beach Boys and you are pegged.

I recall a TV talk show from long ago about some woman that was an admitted "gold digger." The producers planted a multimillionaire in the audience to see if she could find him. She searched a little in the audience and then stood examining one particular man. Interestingly, I did not his manner of dress to be telling, but she correctly identified him.

What's my point? If you're not an expert, if you're not highly skilled or capable, stand back and let those who know what they are doing continue on. Nobody wants to admit or even think that they have a poor sense of style (or beauty), but too bad, you probably do.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 22:12:13 UTC | #924158