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Heinz Werner: Physiognomic and Geometrical- Technical Perception By: Sarah Hales and Becca Kee.

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Presentation on theme: "Heinz Werner: Physiognomic and Geometrical- Technical Perception By: Sarah Hales and Becca Kee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Heinz Werner: Physiognomic and Geometrical- Technical Perception By: Sarah Hales and Becca Kee

2 Biography Born in 1890, Vienna, Austria Loved music – started playing the violin at 7 Thought he wanted to be an engineer but changed to philosophy and psychology. Dr. Dissertation was on psychology of aesthetic enjoyment joined Psychological Institute at Hamburg – entered into Gestalt Movement

3 Bio. Cont – published Comparative Psychology of Mental Development (republished 1948) 1933 – dismissed from Hamburg bc Jewish Came to U.S. – held research positions – research on developmentally delayed and brain- injured kids Brooklyn College = 1 st teaching position 1963 – Symbol Formation (On language) Died in 1964.

4 Key Terms in Werner’s Theory Physiognomic Perception: perceive objects in relation to their dynamic, emotional, and expressive qualities. Face that most directly convey emotions Unity of oneself and objects Geometric-Technical Perception: perceiving objects in terms of shape, length, width, hue, etc. More realistic and matter-of- fact. Synesthesia: syncretic unity of senses Microgenesis: developmental process that occurs each time we confront a task, such as perceiving an object. Psychomusicology: physiognomic perceptions in relation to music and musical experiences. Ideas derived “affections” in music

5 Purpose Heinz Werner suggests that children, at about eight years of age, begin to express meaning more in geometric-technical terminology than in physiognomic terminology. With that in mind, the purpose of this research study is to investigate the impact of various stimuli on the perceptions that children associate with specific experiences.

6 Questions When children experience a slideshow of visually happy, loving images without any other sensory input, do they associate physiognomic terms or geometrical-technical terms with the overall perception of the experience? When children hear a piece of happy music without any other sensory input, do they associate physiognomic terms or geometrical-technical terms with the overall perception of the experience? When children experience a slideshow of visually happy, loving images with the auditory stimuli that promotes the same happy, loving perception as that conveyed by images, do they associate physiognomic terms or geometrical-technical terms with the overall perception of the slideshow?

7 Hypothesis We believe that the kids who hear the music or watch the slideshow independently from each other will choose terms that are more geometric-technical than those who watch them in combination. Likewise, those who watch the slideshow together with the music will choose the terms that are more physiognomic perceptive.

8 Procedure Separate children into 2 groups. One group leaves the room. The first group will: watch the slideshow and fill out a pre-created worksheet filled with terms that are Geometric-Technical and Physiognomic Perceptive. will listen to the music and fill out another copy of the previous worksheet. Switch out groups. The Second Group will: Watch the slideshow in conjunction with the music and fill out the same worksheet that the first group filled out.

9 (Some of) The Pictures We Used

10 And now for ….The Music “Life’s a Happy Song”, from Disney’s Muppets.

11 Research Data Worksheet used for collecting the data:

12 Some-what Geometric- Technical Some-what Physiognomic Perceptive Mostly Geometric- Technical Mostly Physiognomic Perceptive Old Young Entirely Physiognomic Perceptive Neutral Entirely Geometric- Technical Delightful Playful Hopeful Cheery Enjoyable Sweet Happy Positive Upbeat Homey Alive Gray Green Grassy Male Female Flower Trees Wedding Line of Comparison

13 Results from Slideshow This chart shows how many times each word was chosen on the worksheet after the students watched the slideshow. = Physiognomic Perceptive = Geometric-Technical = Neutral

14 Results from Music This chart shows how many times each word was chosen on the worksheet after the students listened to the music. = Physiognomic Perceptive = Geometric-Technical = Neutral

15 Interesting Facts One boy, age 10, perceived the slideshow as entirely physiognomic perceptive, but perceived the music as entirely geometric-technical. Meaning for the Slideshow ALL 7 words chosen were physiognomic and for the music ALL 7 words chosen were geometric-technical.

16 Results from Slideshow & Music This chart shows how many times each word was chosen on the worksheet after the students listened to the music while watching the slideshow. = Physiognomic Perceptive = Geometric-Technical = Neutral

17 Interesting Fact: All students chose the word “happy”. Another Boy, age 10, when watching the slideshow with the music was at an “in between” stage. Meaning that of the 7 words he chose: 3 = Physiognomic 3 = Geometric-Technical 1 = Neutral

18 Final Results This chart shows the results of whether the children were more physiognomic or geometric-technical perceptive as determined from the data and based on their ages.

19 Conclusion While Werner suggests that children at about the age of eight begin to express meaning more in geometric-technical terminology than in physiognomic terminology, this project seems to propose that the specific experience we provided for the students resulted in bringing forth their physiognomic perception rather than their geometric-technical one. Werner does claim that one never loses their physiognomic perception. Rather, certain experiences and events can ‘trigger’ this response and we respond through the “eyes of an artist”. Things like high pitches and low pitches can convey a certain expression of emotion. Thus, causing this reaction in the kids. Our hypothesis was wrong. No matter if the students watched the slideshow and listened to the music separately or together, the vast majority of the students provided physiognomic responses rather than geometric-technical.

20 What Would We Have Done Differently? More “boy”-friendly images. Possibly added another emotional dimension. Order of viewing Possibly another age group to compare (3 rd or 5 th graders)

21 Bibliography Crain, William. “Werner’s Organismic and Comparative.” Theories of Development. 6 th Ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Google: Rosar, William H. “Film Music and Heinz Werner’s Theory of Physiognomic Perception.” Psychomusicology: A Journal of Research in Music Cognition (Special Issue: Psychomusicology of Film Music) Spr-Fal Vol (1994): PsycARTICLES. Web. 23 Sept Youtube:


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