Discover why composition matters. The algorithm of harmony

Visual Sensitivity Test

The Department of Experimental Psychology at the The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, in collaboration with Iwo Zaniewski, is conducting comprehensive research into visual perception of beauty with a particular focus on paintings. One of the aims pursued in this project is to design a test for visual sensitivity. Currently, the psychometric value of specific items in this tool is being assessed. In this context, we would like to ask you to kindly share the link copied below with all colleagues who have an interest or formal education in the visual arts.

At this stage, we are looking to gather a large amount of data. This will be used for research purposes only. We are further interested in continuing to collaborate with any participants who might be willing to do so.

The visual sensitivity test is an attempt to identify persons with above-average capacity to attend to a painting’s composition. This means attending to a work while abstracting from its style or artistic convention, or its topic and the related cultural or emotional contexts. Composition here is a purely visual visual interplay of the constitutive parts of a painting. Being sensitive to it means being able to perceive the painting as a whole.

The test is composed of 100 pairs of black and white paintings. Participants select the ‘next/previous’ arrow to move between pairs/questions. Selecting the „choose” button (enter/return on keyboard) automatically moving to the next question. The spacebar displays images A or B. They can then choose which painting they like more.

Naturally, in some cases participants might not like either painting, but will simply be instructed to select the one they think is even marginally better composed. After the test is complete, the participants will receive a report including the percentage of accurate responses.