International Association of Empirical Aesthetics  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA) is a psychological organization founded to scientifically investigate the nature of aesthetic experience and aesthetic behavior. The group has members in over 25 countries. IAEA was founded at the first international congress in Paris in 1965 by Daniel Berlyne, Robert Francés, Carmelo Genovese, and Albert Wellek.


Although IAEA has been active for half a century, the domain of experimental aesthetics is much older. It is the second-oldest branch of scientific psychology, traditionally dating from 1876, the year Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) published his Vorschule der Aesthetik (Preschool of Aesthetics). Fechner, who also is credited with founding psychophysics, established methods for examining aesthetic response to a variety of visual forms, including an exploration of the venerable Golden Section hypothesis. Since the inception of IAEA in 1965, research on empirical aesthetics has continued to progress, with many pioneers prominent in its membership: witness, for instance, such classic books such as Daniel Berlyne’s (1971) Aesthetics and Psychobiology, Colin Martindale’s (1990) The Clockwork Muse: The Predictability of Artistic Change, or a variety of more recent contributions from IAEA’s current members.

Current situation

The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA) is an organization of researchers who use scientific methods to investigate aesthetic experience and aesthetic behavior in a wide variety of domains, including encounters with beauty, visual art, music, literature, film, theater, philosophy, and museum behavior. Our membership includes individuals from psychology, neuroscience, sociology, museology, art history, philosophy, musicology, and other domains.

Currently, the officers of IAEA are President Helmut Leder (Vienna), Secretary Stefano Mastandrea (Rome) and Treasurer Thomas Jacobsen (Hamburg). A list of former officers can be found on the IAEA webpage.

IAEA organizes bi-annual conferences. IAEA is closely associated with the journal Empirical Studies in the Arts. IAEA gives several awards to recognize excellence in empirical research on aesthetics and creativity: The Gustav Theodor Fechner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Empirical Aesthetics. The Sir Francis Galton Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Study of Creativity. The Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Award for Outstanding Contributions of Young Scientists.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "International Association of Empirical Aesthetics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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