Psychology and Creativity (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Claudia Annechini
Claudia Annechini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 11, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

In recent years much has been done to propose forms of intersection between art and psychology. Among the recognized factors which underlie these intersections, there is the recognition of the value of the cognitive processes that generate the creative path. Students will be able to acquire the necessary knowledge to face the artistic and creative experience and its development with tools and methodologies of the psychology of art according to an experimental and phenomenological approach.


Creativity is cognitive ability and an intellectual exercise. In Psychology of art, Creativity indicates a process of synthesis and analysis that doesn't concern who creates the artwork, but also those who enjoys the creation. The course aims to analyze this statement by addressing the following topics:

1. Knowledge and an understanding of the theoretical foundations for psychology of art, focusing on concepts concerning the inner workings of sight and perception. To be able to internalize such concepts by developing observation skills and a critical eye for art analysis.
2. Knowledge and an understanding of the basic theory in the context of art consumption and art making according to the principals of Environmental, Social, and Educational Psychology. More specifically, to contextualise and examine the interaction between art and the individual on a social, environmental, cognitive, subjective and objective level.
3. Knowledge and an understanding of the fundamentals of Neuroaesthetics: the theories of Cognitive Science and of aesthetics that deal with the theme of aesthetic experience from a sensory and emotional viewpoint.

The text books readings in reference to this course are as follows. A targeted selection of research articles, and essay extracts (which will be specified at the beginning of the course).

Students will have to prepare five texts of their choice:

1. Argenton, A. ('1996). Arte e cognizione. Introduzione alla psicologia dell'arte, 235 - 261.
2. Arnheim, R., & Dorfles, G. (2002). Arte e percezione visiva. Nuova versione (Vol. 23). Feltrinelli Editore, 31 - 55.
3. Kandel, E. R. (2012). L'età dell'inconscio: Arte, mente e cervello dalla grande Vienna ai nostri giorni. Raffaello Cortina, 441 - 489.
4. Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst, A., & Augustin, D. (2004). A model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments. British journal of psychology, 95(4), 489-508.
5. Massironi, M. (2000). L'osteria dei dadi truccati: arte, psicologia e dintorni. Il mulino, 55 - 83.
6. Mastandrea, S. (2011). Il ruolo delle emozioni nell’esperienza estetica. Rivista di estetica, (48), 95-111.
7. Packer, J. (2008). Beyond learning: Exploring visitors' perceptions of the value and benefits of museum experiences. Curator: The Museum Journal, 51(1), 33-54.
8. Zeki, S. (2007). Neurologia dell’ambiguità. Immagini della mente. Neuroscienze, arte, filosofia. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 83-119.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students are expected to submit a written assignment (essay, 5000 characters with spaces).
The essay must comply with the guidelines given. The guidelines are available on the Ateneo e-Learning platform (Moodle) on the teaching webpage. The exam consists of a presentation and discussion of the essay. Further details in regards to the evaluation system will be provided during the course.
The evaluation system does not differenciate between students who attend the lectures and those who choose to study the material independently.