Art and authenticity: Behavioral and eye-movement analyses

Paul Locher, Elizabeth Krupinski, Alexandra Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of viewers' beliefs about the authenticity of paintings on the way they are visually explored and aesthetically evaluated. Thirty art-sophisticated and naïve adults were shown digital versions of paintings by renowned artists under 3 alleged authenticity status conditions: originals, copies, or fakes. Participants' eye-movements, verbal reactions to the stimuli, and self-perceived scanning strategies were recorded as they evaluated, for unlimited time, the pleasantness, artistic merit, and monetary value of each artwork. Overall, findings provide evidence that viewers' beliefs about the authenticity status of a painting serve as a context cue that triggers, in a direct and indirect or mediated top-down fashion, naïve and sophisticated viewers' behavioral and visual responses to art.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-367
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Art authenticity
  • Eye-fixation scanpaths
  • Self-perceived scanning strategies
  • Spatial selectivity
  • Viewers' art sophistication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology


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