Cultural-match effect on the appreciation of traditional and contemporary visual arts: Evidence from Poland and Hong Kong

Ming Hon Robbie HO, Magdalena SZUBIELSKA, Natalia KOPIŚ-POSIEJ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Cultural variations in psychological processes are well recognized by cross-cultural psychology. Cultural products—including the visual arts—present one medium through which people may manifest their dominant culture. The present research investigates the appreciation of visual arts cross-culturally by hypothesizing and testing a cultural-match effect (i.e., people tend to appreciate same-culture artworks more than they appreciate different-culture artworks). Additionally, the present work considers the factors of historical period and art medium that have been overlooked in previous research. A mixed 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 design, 97 Western and 91 Eastern naïve viewers from Poland and Hong Kong were presented with 128 visual artworks varying in artwork culture (West vs. East), historical period (traditional vs. contemporary), and art medium (painting vs. mural). In a repeated measures fashion, the participants evaluated each artwork in terms of art identification, liking, understanding, and familiarity, and their art expertise and art interest were also measured. Supporting the hypothesis, the Polish group tended to appreciate Western (i.e., same-culture) artworks more than Eastern (i.e., different-culture) artworks. However, contrary to our prediction, the Hong Kong group also tended to appreciate Western (i.e., different-culture) artworks more than Eastern (i.e., same-culture) artworks, and that might be attributed to the Western influence Hong Kong had received during its British colonial years. Furthermore, cultural-match effect did not readily generalize across historical periods nor across art media. Potential confounding of art expertise and art interest as well as limitations and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Early online dateDec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 2022


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