Infants look longer at colours that adults like when colours are highly saturated

Skelton, A E and Franklin, A (2019) Infants look longer at colours that adults like when colours are highly saturated. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. ISSN 1069-9384

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The extent to which aesthetic preferences are ‘innate’ has been highly debated (Reber, Schwarz, & Winkielman, 2004). For some types of visual stimuli infants look longer at those that adults prefer. It is unclear whether this is also the case for colour. A lack of relationship in prior studies between how long infants look at different colours and how much adults like those colours might be accounted for by stimulus limitations. For example, stimuli may have been too desaturated for infant vision. In the current study, using saturated colours more suitable for infants, we aim to quantify the relationship between infant looking and adult preference for colour. We take infant looking times at multiple hues from a study of infant colour categorisation (Skelton, Catchpole, Abbott, Bosten, & Franklin, 2017) and then measure adult preferences and compare these to infant looking. When colours are highly saturated, infants look longer at colours that adults prefer. Both infant looking time and adult preference are greatest for blue hues and are least for green-yellow. Infant looking and adult preference can be partly summarised by activation of the blue-yellow dimension in the early encoding of human colour vision. These findings suggest that colour preference is at least partially rooted in the sensory mechanisms of colour vision, and more broadly that aesthetic judgements may in part be due to underlying sensory biases.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 09:27
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 11:45

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