Dr. Anna Husemann

Telefon: +49 69 8300 479 561


Moved to Chills
It is not unusual to experience strong emotions when watching moving film scenes. More -->

Scream if you have to

Screams occupy a privileged acoustic niche to ensure their biological and social efficiency

An international team of neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, New York University and the University of Geneva has proved the uniqueness of screams for the first time. More -->

New study on rhetorical language use published in COGNITION
The study investigated the effects of three experimentally modified rhetorical features. More -->

First major psychological study on being moved published in PLOS ONE
Ever since Latin rhetoric and poetics emotionally moving (lat. movere) an audience has been identified as one of the major goals of the arts. More -->

Job Offers

For the time being, we have no vacancies.

This, however, can change any day.


Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics!
Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics!

The objective of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the mechanisms, elicitors and functions of aesthetic liking and aesthetic preferences: Who appreciates what and why and under what conditions? And what functions do aesthetic practices and preferences serve for individuals, social groups and societies?
The research focuses primarily on the foundations of aesthetic evaluation, perception and experience.

Like most other forms of empirical research that are not wholly exploratory in nature, empirical aesthetics is driven by theories, hypotheses and models. Specifically, it faces the challenge of integrating and developing theories, hypotheses and models from very different disciplines, most notably from psychology, the traditional poetics of the individual art forms, musicology, art history, literary studies, biology, sociology, and the neurosciences. The structure of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics is based on the assumption that progress towards an integrative aesthetic theory can only be achieved through a strong focus on basic research and joint interdisciplinary efforts.

The institute will have four departments. Two of them ("Music" and "Langugage and Literature") have started to work in fall 2013. The appointment of a director of the third department (Neuroscience) is in an advanced stage. As to a fourth director, the search is only beginning.

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