Dynamics of aesthetic appreciation
Claus-Christian Carbon, University of Bamberg, Germany
Claus-Christian Carbon studied Psychology (Dipl.-Psych.), followed by Philosophy (M.A.), both at University of Trier, Germany. After receiving his PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin and his “Habilitation” at the University of Vienna, Austria, he worked at the University of Technology Delft, Netherlands and the University of Bamberg, Germany, where he currently holds a full professorship leading the Department of General Psychology and Methodology and the “Forschungsgruppe EPAEG”—a research group devoted to enhancing the knowledge, methodology and enthusiasm in the fields of cognitive ergonomics, psychological aesthetics and design evaluation (see www.experimental-psychology.com and www.epaeg.de for more details). He is an editor of the scientific journals Perception and i-Perception, an Action Editor of Art & Perception, Frontiers in Psychology and Frontiers in Human Neuroscience and a member of the Editorial Boards of Advances in Cognitive Psychology, Psihologija, Open Psychology and Musicae Scientiae.
Stable aesthetic standards seems to be a classic narrative: the golden section, the perfect harmony, the eternal beauty! Many people believe in such stable on so static concepts as they do not observe and understand ongoing changes in the canon, the material, the shape and design of products, goods and aesthetic objects. Actually, stable aesthetic standards might be a typical idea born in idealistic philosophy, but anthropological constants seem to be highly unrealistic and implausible from an empirical and everyday life perspective. Many aesthetic domains such as fashion, design, or art are inherently dynamic and we experience these dynamics from year to year when we realize that our taste has changed meanwhile without having noticed this. In the present contribution, empirical data from a variety of experiments and studies are discussed and a simple two-step model is developed based on these findings. Based on such a developmental, adaptive model of aesthetic appreciation, we can also predict future appreciation. I will argue that such an adaptation mechanism is essential in explaining the appeal and success of innovations.
Measurements of Socioeconomic Status as an Instrument to Study Educational Equity: Some Methodological Issues
Dr. Kajsa Yang Hansen, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Dr. Kajsa Yang Hansen is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research concerns educational quality and equity from a comparative perspective. Currently she is investigating if students’ opportunities to learn can be associated with the recent educational reforms implemented in Swedish compulsory and upper secondary schools and trying to contribute greater understanding of the long-term trends in Swedish pupils’ educational outcomes. Dr. Yang Hansen also has an interest in quantitative analytical techniques for large-scale survey data, such as multi-level modelling, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) and second generation SEM.
Socio-economic Status (SES) is a fundamental construct in social stratification and equity studies. In social behavioural sciences, SES and its relations to different performance and outcomes are very often used as an equity measure. Another important use of SES is to control for selection effects in research on determinants of educational, psychological and other life outcomes. Commonly used indicators of SES are parental occupational status, education level and income. However, there is no consensus on the conceptualization of SES, leading to different measurements of SES and SES effects. It should be noted, however, that some methodological factors also affect the estimation of the trend and strength of SES effect. In this talk, this last aspect will be emphasized. I will briefly introduce some existing theoretical views and related measurements of SES. Some examples will be given to illustrate these methodological issues. I will also show alternative measurements of SES and the advantage of such method choices. One alternative method is a reflective approach to defining SES in the latent variable framework, where the latent SES variable can be continuous (i.e., a factor) and categorical (i.e., latent classes or profiles). In sum, the past and current status of conceptualization and measurement of SES will be reviewed and future developments in these issues will be discussed.