Who benefits from online art viewing, and how: The role of pleasure, meaningfulness, and trait aesthetic responsiveness in computer-based art interventions for well-being
Trupp, M. D., Bignardi, G., Specker, E., Vessel, E. A., & Pelowski, M.
Who benefits from online art viewing, and how: The role of pleasure, meaningfulness, and trait aesthetic responsiveness in computer-based art interventions for well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 145
: 107764. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2023.107764.
When experienced in-person, engagement with art has been associated with positive outcomes in well-being and mental health. However, especially in the last decade, art viewing, cultural engagement, and even ‘trips’ to museums have begun to take place online, via computers, smartphones, tablets, or in virtual reality. Similarly, to what has been reported for in-person visits, online art engagements—easily accessible from personal devices—have also been associated to well-being impacts. However, a broader understanding of for whom and how online-delivered art might have well-being impacts is still lacking. In the present study, we used a Monet interactive art exhibition from Google Arts and Culture to deepen our understanding of the role of pleasure, meaning, and individual differences in the responsiveness to art. Beyond replicating the previous group-level effects, we confirmed our pre-registered hypothesis that trait-level inter-individual differences in aesthetic responsiveness predict some of the benefits that online art viewing has on well-being and further that such inter-individual differences at the trait level were mediated by subjective experiences of pleasure and especially meaningfulness felt during the online-art intervention. The role that participants' experiences play as a possible mechanism during art interventions is discussed in light of recent theoretical models.