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Title:Classification of Style in Paintings: A Developmental Study Using American and Chinese Subjects
Author(s):Kuo, Ann Cheng-Shiang
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Fine Arts
Abstract:The purpose of this research was to study cross-cultural similarity judgments in the classification of style in paintings. Various developmental groups have been evaluated based on the prediction that there is cross-cultural similarity of responses towards discrimination of artistic style in paintings at various developmental levels.
Two sets of paintings were selected to serve as stimuli for this study. Set 1 consisted of 64 slides of contemporary Western nonobjective paintings that reflect a number of stylistic variations. Set 2 consisted of 64 slides of Chinese contemporary realistic paintings which represent several subtly distinctive stylistic characteristics of Chinese paintings.
An experiment was conducted using 300 American and Chinese public school and college students as subjects, 150 subjects from each culture. Each subject pool contained five developmental levels: the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades and college sophomores, with 30 subjects at each level.
Subjects were shown 32 arrays of paintings (16 arrays each of Western and Chinese paintings), and they were to determine which two paintings were done by the same artist from a group of four paintings in each array.
Results of the study support the assumption that there are significant differences in various developmental groups. It is obvious that while young children of both cultures are able to classify a variety of stylistic similarities in painting correctly, older subjects are able to perform this task with significantly greater accuracy.
The statistical analysis also reveals that Chinese subjects perform better at all grade levels. There are two possible explanations for these findings: (a) educational systems in art education do differ in each culture, and (b) subjects may be responding to the cultural-specific (emic) connotations of the structural factors rather than the more universal (etic) aspects of structure. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence for some degree of transcultural validity of aesthetic judgments and for some constancy across cultures in the Piagetian description of children's perceptual development.
Issue Date:1986
Description:243 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8701538
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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