Men and women have different ways of judging a work of art, reveals new study.
The research, which was co-authored by a Michigan State University marketing scholar, showed stark difference in how sexes evaluate art. While men seem to focus more on the artist's background and authenticity, women pay more attention to the art itself.
The study was the first to investigate how important an artist's "brand" was to average consumers when they appraise art. Turns out, that personal brand is very important, a finding that has implications for the 64 dollars billion art market and other product industries such as food and fashion.
Stephanie Mangus, assistant professor at MSU, and her fellow researchers had 518 people look at two unfamiliar paintings with made-up biographies of the artist. Some participants read a bio that characterized the artist as authentic - in other words, a lifelong painter who creates unique work. Others read a bio that characterized the artist as an ordinary painter who took up the craft only recently.
When the artist was characterized as authentic, participants had a much more favorable impression of both the artist and the artwork. Participants indicated they were more willing to buy that artist's painting and to pay a higher price for it.
Men were much more likely to use the artist's brand as a deciding factor when evaluating art. Mangus said this jibed with past research that indicated men tend to use factors that are known to them (in this case, the artist's brand) when making a decision.
Women also took the artist's authenticity into account, but a bigger factor for them was the artwork itself.
While the art market has grown steadily for the past 10 years - outperforming the equities market during that time - there's a dearth of research on how consumers were actually determining the worth of artwork, Mangus said.
The study is published in the journal Psychology and Marketing.