Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Type (DCMI Terms)


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Jaime Cloud

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks




Previous research on fame and likeability has been focused primarily in the field of advertising with some related research in the music industry, but little has been done in regard to visual art. Socioeconomic status (SES) has been explored in terms of art participation but has not been explored in relation to the reception of art. The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects that artist fame and viewer SES have on the rating given to a piece of visual art. I predicted that high SES participants would give higher ratings to high fame artists than low fame artists or with no artist information. For low SES participants, I predicted they would give lower overall scores than those with high SES, and that their highest scores would be for low fame artists. Participants (N = 90) were randomly assigned to one of the three artist fame conditions and rated the same painting on multiple scales. Results did not show any main effects but a trend for an interaction was found between viewer SES and artist fame, such that high SES participants gave their highest ratings to high fame artists while low SES participants gave higher ratings when given no information and to low fame artists than to high fame artists. This trend supports the conclusion that individual differences impact the way in which creative mediums are perceived.

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