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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Cultural-Psychological Models Of Experiencing Of The Person's Encounter With An Artwork 921


Ermolaeva M.V.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Chair of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia

Lubovsky D.V.
PhD in Psychology, Professor at the Chair of Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia

Considering the perception of artworks as a higher mental function, we analyze the psychological mechanisms of the impact the mystery included by the author into the artwork has on the reader or viewer. It should be noted that the basis of any artwork’s mystery is a contradiction, which prompts the reader or viewer to solve it by retaining opposing experiences caused by the artwork. By the example of the great works of litera- ture and art, we show how a contradiction takes the viewer beyond everyday experience with the help of the metamorphosis, which turns different ideas into their opposites. The development of the reader’s or viewer’s tolerance for uncertainty or ambivalence of artworks creates opportunities for different ways of meaning generation (extension of the array of meanings, ascending the vertical of meanings, spiritual renewal through deep self-discovery). We discuss psychotechnical means of facilitating meaning generation.

Keywords: art perception, the mystery of artworks, ambivalence, tolerance for uncertainty, meaning generation

Column: Anthropology, phenomenology, culture


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