International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Reconciliation of Art and Psychology

Volume 33.2   2014



The disciplines of art and experimental psychology share a number of interesting areas of overlap which are unknown and/or unconsidered by many. This purpose of this article is to elucidate topics that are of interest to both artists and psychologists in an attempt to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. It is only on rare occasions that artists and psychologists engage in collaborative research efforts, however; here I discuss a number of topics in psychology (e.g. attention, expertise, object perception and mental representations) that would be of interest to both disciplines. The concepts that are often taught in the art studio can provide unique insight into perceptual processes that play a role in the creation and evaluation of art. However, collaborative research efforts are necessary better to understand these perceptual processes. Thus, the product of collaborative research in such areas can inform art education and psychology to mutual benefit. This article discusses topics of interest for art and psychology and poses possible research questions that can be investigated via artist–psychologist collaborations