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Does art expertise facilitate distancing?

  • Helmut Leder (a1) and Norbert Schwarz (a2)

With respect to the Distancing-Embracing model, we discuss whether experts with well-developed and highly accessible schemata that lend themselves to distancing have initial affective reactions similar to those of novices, who lack access to well-developed distancing mechanisms, and whether differences between experts' and novices' responses are apparent only after distancing mechanisms have had a chance to do their work. We revisit findings from Leder et al. (2014) and discuss the role of mixed emotions and fluency.

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Forster, M., Leder, H. & Ansorge, U. (2016) Exploring the subjective feeling of fluency. Experimental Psychology 63:4558. Available at:
Gernot, G., Pelowski, M. & Leder, H. (2017) Empathy, Einfühlung, and aesthetic experience: The effect of emotion contagion on appreciation of representational and abstract art using fEMG and SCR. Cognitive Processing. Available at:
Leder, H. (2003) Familiar and fluent! Style-related processing hypotheses in aesthetic appreciation. Empirical Studies of the Arts 21(2):165–75.
Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst, A. & Augustin, M. D. (2004) A model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments. British Journal of Psychology 95(4):489508. Available at:
Leder, H., Gerger, G., Brieber, D. & Schwarz, N. (2014) What makes an art expert? Emotion and evaluation in art appreciation. Emotion and Cognition 28(6):1137–47. Available at:
Leder, H., Gerger, G., Dressler, S. G. & Schabmann, A. (2012) How art is appreciated. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts 6(1):210. doi:
Reber, R., Schwarz, N. & Winkielman, P. (2004) Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience? Personality and Social Psychology Review 8(4):364–82. Available at:
Schneider, I.K., & Schwarz, N. (2017). Mixed feelings: The case of ambivalence. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 15:3945. DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.05.012.
Schneider, I. K., Veenstra, L., van Harreveld, F., Schwarz, N. & Koole, S. (2016) Let's not be indifferent about neutrality: Neutral ratings in the IAPS mask mixed affective responses. Emotion 16:426–30. Available at:
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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