The role of image statistics and personality traits on perceived intimacy of architectural spaces

Pik Ki Ho, Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Perceived intimacy and aesthetic judgements of architectural spaces have been shown to be influenced by perceived visual features such as contour curvilinearity, space openness, ceiling height, and window-to-wall ratio, while individual differences in personality traits and architectural expertise modulated these effects (Ho & Hayn-Leichsenring, XXVI Conference of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, 2021). On the other hand, certain measurements of image statistics (e.g., edge-orientation entropy) were found to account for more variances than perceived features (e.g., curvilinearity) in pleasantness judgements and preferences for a wide range of man-made images including artwork, architecture and simple patterns (Grebenkina et al., 2018 Front. Neurosci., 12, 678). Here, we asked whether objective image statistics are stronger predictors of perceived intimacy ratings of residential building exteriors and indoor spaces than perceived features and whether image statistics interacts with the observers’ attributes in similar ways as reported previously. To this end, we presented the participants (N=790) 40 images of building exteriors and 40 images of indoor spaces and asked them to rate each image on perceived intimacy. Results of linear mixed model analyses show edge density (related to perceived complexity) was the only significant predictor of the participants’ intimacy ratings. However, there are multiple interactions between the personality dimensions (e.g., ‘openness to experience’ and ‘agreeableness’) and objective image statistics (e.g., edge density, hue and anisotropy). Taken together, our findings suggest that affective judgements of the built environment are the product of the beholder's attributes as well as basic image statistics that underlie perceived visual features.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2024
EventApplied Vision Association : Christmas Meeting 2023 - Royal Holloway, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Dec 2023 → …


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