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Nobody likes a fake: Aesthetic value depends on perceived authenticity

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Brielmann, A., & Pelli, D. (2016). Nobody likes a fake: Aesthetic value depends on perceived authenticity. Poster presented at 39th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2016), Barcelona, Spain.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6B68-D
People spend incredible amounts of money for original artworks and live music. Why? Perfectcopies and high-quality recordings are available for less than one percent the price. Newman andBloom (2012) have shown that people assign a higher monetary value to art objects that have haddirect contact with the artist, suggesting that authenticity is key to the work’s perceived value.With two online studies, we assessed the relation between perceived authenticity and aestheticvaluation. In experiment 1, participants (N¼38) watched a series of live-music videos and weretold in half of the trials the singer was lip-syncing. In experiment 2, participants (N¼20) looked atGerman advertisements and were informed with half of them that the models in the photographshad been retouched. In both experiments, ratings of beauty, pleasure, and attractiveness werepositively correlated with perceived authenticity and lower for ‘‘fake’’ stimuli involving lip-syncingor retouching. Videos and models rated ‘‘definitely not’’ authentic were never deemed ‘‘definitely’’beautiful or attractive. Thus the earlier Newman and Bloom findings on monetary value are hereextended to aesthetic value, affirming claims by artists (e.g., choreographer Bill T. Jones) that afeeling of authenticity is essential to aesthetic experiences, such as beauty.