Gao, Jie, & Alessandro Soranzo (2020, January). Individual Differences in Aesthetic Preferences for Multi-Sensorial Stimulation. Vision, 4(1). 13 pp. (Link:

Abstract: The aim of the current project was to investigate aesthetics in multi-sensorial stimulation and to explore individual differences in the process. We measured the aesthetics of interactive objects (IOs) which are three-dimensional objects with electronic components that exhibit an autonomous behaviour when handled, e.g., vibrating, playing a sound, or lighting-up. The Q-sorting procedure of Q-methodology was applied. Data were analysed by following the Qmulti protocol. The results suggested that overall participants preferred IOs that (i) vibrate, (ii) have rough surface texture, and (iii) are round. No particular preference emerged about the size of the IOs. When making an aesthetic judgment, participants paid more attention to the behaviour variable of the IOs than the size, contour or surface texture. In addition, three clusters of participants were identified, suggesting that individual differences existed in the aesthetics of IOs. Without proper consideration of potential individual differences, aesthetic scholars may face the risk of having significant effects masked by individual differences. Only by paying attention to this issue can more meaningful findings be generated to contribute to the field of aesthetics.

Jie Gao <> is in the Institute of Education, University College London, London, UK; and Alessandro Soranzo <> is in the Department of Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.