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Art can broaden our personal freedom, by extending the understanding of our choices, while it simultaneously increases human liveliness through the exploration of a more intense perception of colors, forms, sounds and values of the world we live in. In the field of psychology, even though the unsolved problem of defining the term exists, there is a dynamically increasing area, the psychology of art, which is characterized by the multitude of prospects and approaches that attempt to analyze and explain it.

Art Psychology is a scientific area that studies the perception, the knowledge and the characteristics of art. According to the general standards of art psychology, art can be studied through perception and through the processes that take place in the human brain. The fact that art functions in a cultural continuity, helps us attempt to analyze it. These are the general principles that guide most of the work in art psychology; that art can be studied by asking questions about our perception and that art operates in a cultural continuum that one can come to terms with, through the analysis of art.

Art can broaden our personal freedom, by extending the understanding of our choices, while it simultaneously increases human liveliness through the exploration of a more intense perception of colors, forms, sounds and values of the world we live in. In the field of psychology, even though the unsolved problem of defining the term exists, there is a dynamically increasing area, the psychology of art, which is characterized by the multitude of prospects and approaches that attempt to analyze and explain it.

Art Psychology is a scientific area that studies the perception, the knowledge and the characteristics of art. According to the general standards of art psychology, art can be studied through perception and through the processes that take place in the human brain. The fact that art functions in a cultural continuity, helps us attempt to analyze it. These are the general principles that guide most of the work in art psychology; that art can be studied by asking questions about our perception and that art operates in a cultural continuum that one can come to terms with, through the analysis of art.

The response to art begins with sensory perception. Although the problem of perception is an important consideration in the psychology of art, it is not the main one, because it depends on prior decisions about other questions which form the very heart of the problem. This is why the psychology of art must begin, not with aesthetic experiences, but with the other two problem areas; emotion and imagination. Indeed, all psychological systems which attempt to explain art are nothing but various combinations of the theories of imagination and emotion, which are the two more obscure areas in psychology. In recent times they have been the subject of a great many investigations, all of which have failed to propose a generally acceptable system for study. Some of the approaches that attempt to explain and analyze art are: the experimental aesthetics with the methods of option, production and application Fechner 19 &;ιώνα, Eysenck, Arnold &Meili 1975.

  • the theory of form (Gestalt theory), with basic representative Arnheim 1986, 1989, 1996, 1999 who focused on the visual perception and extended on music, sculptures, expression, the symbolism of light, aesthetics, children art and more.
  • psychoanalysis, with the distinguishing work of Freyd for Micheal Aggelo, Leonarnto da Vintsi, Dostogievski, etc.
  • the psychology of music, that deals with the effect of music in individuals and groups of people, up to musicotherapy Eysenck, Arnold & Meili 1975, Wigram, Saperston & West 1995.
  • the studies of neuro-psychologists, who in collaboration with physicists, mathematicians and artists developed more specialized research on visual arts, such as the processes that take place starting from the eyes and finishing in the brain of the observer that looks at a painting. Eysenck, Arnold & Meili Gregory, Harris, Heard &Rose 1995.
  • studies on creativity in general, Ward, Finke &Smith 1995, Leppert 1996, Bruce & Young 1998, Elkins 1998, Lindauer 1998, Powers 1998, Sawyer 1998.

Even though there are various psychological theories that explain the processes of artistic creativity, very few of them have ever been pursued to an end. There is no completely and generally accepted system of art psychology. Some authors, such as Müller-Freienfels, give only a synopsis of different viewpoints. Most psychologists worked only on some particular problems of the general theory of art and proceeded in their research from different approaches, following different paths, and reaching different conclusions. Without a general idea or a valid methodological principle it is difficult to appraise systematically what psychology has achieved in this direction.

Art always existed in the consciences of people, expressing the needs of every society, representing the evolutionary course in the history of people through time, but also pointing out the psychological state of the artists of each time period. Through aesthetics, (ie. the description and interpretation of artistic phenomena and aesthetic experiences using methods of other sciences), art keeps pace with the psychology of people of each time period as well as with what mirrors their emotions and their daily life each given time. Emotions have always played a very important role in artistic creativity, because any human creativity involves emotions. The emotional process involved, follows the formula: from image to idea, and from idea to emotion. In a work of art no element is important by itself as much as the emotional reaction it generates. Such a mechanical concept, however, is in incapable of solving the problem of artistic response, because the emotional portion of an impression is quite small compared to the strong affects that make up an aesthetic response. The psychologists must reach the stage of analysis but they have absolutely no access to the synthesis of an aesthetic response. They can find sensorial, motor, associative, intellectual, and emotional factors for a reaction, but they can say nothing about the relationships between them or about how a complete psychology of art may be constructed from these different factors, each of which can be found outside art.

Just like artists work through the unconscious when they create a work of art, deriving through the psychological rules and laws that guide them, the processes that take place when we observe a work of art have a direct impact in our psychology. That is because a work of art expresses something that cannot be expressed with words. It reflects in the soul of the recipient and produces emotions depending on the aesthetics, the psychology, the instinct and the judgment of the observer. That is why art is self-sufficient. It has its own language and its own means with which the artists attempt to express themselves and to transfer their souls through their creation.

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