The Psychology of Art: Why We Love and Create Art.

The Psychology of Art: Why We Love and Create Art.

The Psychology of Art: Why We Love and Create Art


Art is an integral part of human history and culture. From the cave paintings of our prehistoric ancestors to contemporary art installations, art has always been a way to express human emotions, thoughts, and experiences. But why do we create and love art? What is the psychology behind our relationship with art? In this article, we will explore the answers to these questions.

The Science of Art Appreciation

When we see a piece of art that we love, we experience a range of emotions, from joy and awe to sadness and contemplation. Our brains release dopamine, the pleasure chemical, when we see something aesthetically pleasing. Studies have shown that our brain’s reward system is activated when we view art we find beautiful, and this response is similar to the one we get when we eat food, have sex, or use drugs.

The Power of Symbolism and Emotion

Art also allows us to express and communicate complex emotions and ideas. The symbolic power of art enables us to communicate emotionally charged experiences that are often difficult to put into words. Art can be used to challenge or reinforce societal norms and values, to inspire hope, or to evoke feelings of sadness or empathy.

The Role of Creativity in Art

Creating art is a way for individuals to express their individuality and creativity. It is often described as a form of therapy, where artists can express their thoughts, emotions and experiences to a wider audience. Art therapy is increasingly being used as a form of mental health treatment for disorders such as depression and anxiety.


Art has the power to inspire and move us emotionally, and it taps into our reward system. It can express complex emotions and ideas, challenge norms and values, and be a form of self-expression and therapy for individuals. Whether we are looking at art or creating it, art plays a crucial role in our lives and society, making it a source of constant wonder and fascination.


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– Kirschner, S., & Tomasello, M. (2010). Joint music making promotes prosocial behavior in 4-year-old children. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(5), 354-364.
– Wieser, M. J., Pauli, P., Gschwind, M., Mühlberger, A. (2010). Tonic pain grabs attention, but leaves emotional processing of facial expressions intact. Pain, 150(2), 223-229.
– McNiff, S. (1998). Art therapy: Warner Bros. Publications.
– Van de Cruys, S., Wagemans, J., & Stahl, J. (2014). Neural correlates of perceiving natural scenes revealed by compared to producing artistic images. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8, 172.
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