Silverman J, Winner E, Rosenstiel A K, Gardner H, 1975, "On training sensitivity to painting styles" Perception 4(4) 373 – 384
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On training sensitivity to painting styles
Jen Silverman, Ellen Winner, Anne K Rosenstiel, Howard Gardner
Received 24 March 1975, in revised form 27 August 1975
Abstract. A training study was conducted with ten-year old children (1) to determine the steps through which children pass in learning to sort paintings by style; (2) to investigate the relationship between this and other perceptual and performing skills. Subjects who initially focused on subject matter cues learned to sort paintings by style; a substantial proportion of the subjects succeeded in consistently applying a multidimensional analysis, by means of which various compositional components were first independently assessed and their cumulative effects then evaluated. Moreover, the subjects passed through a consistent set of stages en route to style sensitivity. Posttesting revealed that sensitivity to style is more likely to be enhanced if subjects have had intensive exposure to a small set of highly distinctive styles than if they have gained a superficial familiarity with a wide variety of styles; that the classification skills leading to style sensitivity are related to certain discriminative capacities utilized in the sciences; and that subjects trained to attend to certain features of painting show a modest change in their own style of representational drawing. The findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive capacities emerging during the middle years of childhood.
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