University of Vienna

Helmut Leder is professor of Cognitive Psychology at University of Vienna. He studies human aesthetic experiences, regarding a variety of objects, and contexts, from laboratory studies, to field studies in museum and outdoors. The broad questions he studies are (i) cognitive and emotional mechanisms that determine what we like – and find aesthetically pleasing, (ii), what makes aesthetic experiences special, and (iii) what effects has beauty on our perception, feeling, well-being. He uses a broad range of research methods, with a major focus behavioral measures (evaluations, scales) and physiology (FacialEMG, eye-tracking, fNIRS). His work is distinctively interdisciplinary, with collaborations with art history, and biology. He is Head of the interdisciplinary Research HUB Cognitive Science, and member the interdisciplinary doctoral school CoBeNe. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, in various fields of empirical aesthetics and visual perception. From 2014 until 2018 he was the president of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and organized the biannual international Conference of IAEA 2016 in Vienna. In 2018 he was a Fellow at the Italian Academy – of Advanced Studies in America, at Columbia University.

Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst, A. & Augustin, D. (2004). A model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgements. British Journal of Psychology 95 (4), 489-508

Pelowski M., Leder, H., Mitschke, V., Specker, E., Gerger, G., Tinio, P.P.L., Vaporova, E., Bieg, T. and Husslein-Arco, A. (2018). Capturing Aesthetic Experiences With Installation Art: An Empirical Assessment of Emotion, Evaluations, and Mobile Eye Tracking in Olafur Eliasson’s “Baroque, Baroque!”. Frontiers Psychology, 9:1255. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01255

Mitschke, V., Goller, J., & Leder, H. (2017). Exploring everyday encounters with street art using a multimethod design. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11(3), 276-283. DOI: 10.1037/aca0000131

Leder, H., & Nadal, M. (2014). Ten years of a model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments: The aesthetic episode – Developments and challenges in empirical aesthetics. British Journal of Psychology. 443-464. DOI: 10.1111/bjop.1208

Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Chatterjee, A., Brorson Fich, L., Leder, H., Modroño, C., Nadal, M., Rostrup, N., & Skov, M. (2013).  Looking Sharp: Impact of Contour on Aesthetic Judgments and Approach-Avoidance Decisions in Architecture. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) 110 (Supplement 2), 10446-10453; (JIF=9.737)