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The Effect Of Explanation On The Art Preferences Of Liberals And Conservatives, Joseph Fay
One hundred thirteen subjects at the University of Richmond were shown twenty-four slides of paintings from four categories of art: simple representational, simple abstract, complex representational, complex abstract. Half of the paintings in each category were accompanied by a one-paragraph explanation. Based on their scores on the Conservatism Scale (Wilson & Patterson, 1968), subjects were divided into two groups: liberals and conservatives. Using Wilson’s (1973) theory of conservatism as the theoretical base, it was hypothesized that, for the unexplained paintings, conservatives would prefer simple art while liberals would prefer complex art.