Gerald C. Cupchik

Gerald C. Cupchik
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

131
Publications
69,295
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3,262
Citations
Introduction
My research addresses a broad array of processes encompassing emotion, imagination, design, pedagogy and current meaningful topics and problems.
Additional affiliations
June 1974 - January 2014
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the use of creative activities as a coping mechanism for the COVID-19 pandemic. Students, as well as social media participants, were asked to describe some of the activities they undertook during the months of quarantine from February to August of 2020. It was expected that individuals who actively participated in creative tasks...
Article
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This article describes the development and testing of a novel creative and reflective writing task. Following the rationale of sand-tray and play therapies, participants were asked to meaningfully incorporate four objects from a randomly generated matrix of options into a creative short story. They then composed a second story that incorporated fou...
Preprint
Background: News media coverage of anti-mask protests, COVID-19 conspiracies, and pandemic politicization has overemphasized extreme views, but does little to represent views of the general public. Investigating the public’s response to various pandemic restrictions can provide a more balanced assessment of current views, allowing policymakers to c...
Preprint
BACKGROUND News media coverage of anti-mask protests, COVID-19 conspiracies, and pandemic politicization has overemphasized extreme views, but does little to represent views of the general public. Investigating the public’s response to various pandemic restrictions can provide a more balanced assessment of current views, allowing policymakers to cr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: News media coverage of anti-mask protests, COVID-19 conspiracies, and pandemic politicization has overemphasized extreme views, but does little to represent views of the general public. Investigating the public's response to various pandemic restrictions can provide a more balanced assessment of current views, allowing policymakers to...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the episodic memories and therapeutic benefits associated with adult doll play. Forty adult collectors described a significant interaction they had with their dolls and interpreted the meaning of the episode. They rated both their narratives and interpretations on 7-point scales. Then they completed four questionnaires reflectin...
Book
Full-text available
This study explored the episodic memories and therapeutic benefits associated with adult doll play. Forty adult collectors described a significant interaction they had with their dolls and interpreted the meaning of the episode. They rated both their narratives and interpretations on 7-point scales. They then completed four questionnaires reflectin...
Chapter
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly heightened concerns about student success and retention in universities across Canada. Students at these institutions are experiencing mental health issues at a higher rate as a result of the rapidly changing learning environment and associated uncertainties. Among those facing such challenges, several may be...
Article
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This study explored doll play activities involving adult doll collectors, and students who participated in an experimental story creation task which incorporated dolls/toy images and urban/landscape settings. It was expected that a secure versus insecure sense of self would perform a mediating role. The study involved two data collections: Online a...
Chapter
Full-text available
and Keywords The term "aesthetic emotion" was treated differently by scholars from the late 19th and early 20th centuries compared with those from the 21st, and there is much to learn from the "early" group. William James distinguished "subtler emotions" that encompass aesthetic , scientific, and ethical qualities, in contrast to "coarse emotions,"...
Article
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This article begins with a review of studies in perception and depth psychology concerning the experience of exposure to sacred artworks in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox contexts. This follows with the results of a qualitative inquiry involving 45 Roman Catholic, Eastern and Coptic Orthodox, and Protestant Christians in Canada. First, partici...
Chapter
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Finding elusive resonance across culture time and space. Gerald Cupchik, Despina Stamatopoulou, and Siying Duan Abstract This chapter is about meaningful connection in media entertainment in relation to the concept of resonance during an era of social and technological acceleration. A hierarchical model is proposed with a desire for pleasure at...
Chapter
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The aim of this theoretical article that is supported by an illustrative research case of an ongoing project, is the investigation of the experience of awe in relation to the empathic “feeling into” and the ‘‘being moved” phenomenological quality of aesthetic experience, as instantiated in the specific case of religious icons-paintings. This approa...
Chapter
Full-text available
ABSTRACT The aim of this theoretical article that is supported by an illustrative research case of an ongoing project, is the investigation of the experience of awe in relation to the empathic “feeling into” and the ‘‘being moved” phenomenological quality of aesthetic experience, as instantiated in the specific case of religious icons-paintings. Th...
Chapter
Full-text available
The aim of this theoretical article that is supported by an illustrative research case of an ongoing project, is the investigation of the experience of awe in relation to the empathic "feeling into" and the ''being moved" phenomenological quality of aesthetic experience, as instantiated in the specific case of religious icons-paintings. This approa...
Article
Full-text available
This discussion of Habits of Mind is rooted in Ellen Winner and colleagues’ groundbreaking research on the skills and dispositions taught in visual arts, music, and theater classrooms in the United States. The Habits students are learning in these creative contexts have applications to other domains, such as the sciences and everyday life. The phil...
Article
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We conducted a study to examine how people perceptually encode and then recognize real artworks and constructed design patterns. We first manipulated depth of processing during an incidental perceptual encoding task (Phase 1) wherein participants made both affective/aesthetic and cognitive judgments. For painting stimuli, the contrast was between l...
Chapter
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Article
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The Distancing-Embracing model proposes that negative emotions embedded in literary works can be rewarding. This is consistent with a holistic ontology in the German Romantic tradition. However, the application of cognitive psychology to explain experiences of aesthetic pleasure is problematic because it is founded on a mechanistic Enlightenment ep...
Article
Understanding the complexities of how emotions could be implicated in the semantic (subject-matter) and the syntactic level (form/style) in art might contribute to integrating contrasting approaches regarding emotion experience and meaning. This study explores what happens when we strip away subject matter and only provide expressive information th...
Article
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The present study explores imagination in a cross-cultural context through an original 25-item questionnaire. A cross-national sample of 940 respondents included 336 participants from North America, 309 from Germany, and 295 from mainland China. Imagination is shown to be a process-based concept consisting of a number of components (factors) rather...
Article
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A product has multiple sensory properties, each of which can be evaluated on its affective quality. In the current study, we investigated differences in the evaluation of the affective quality of auditory and visual product appearances and their potential contribution to the overall (auditory-visual) affective quality of domestic appliances. We use...
Article
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Many previous studies have suggested that various comparisons rely on the same cognitive and neural mechanisms. However, little attention has been paid to exploring the commonalities and differences between the internal comparison based on concepts or rules and the external comparison based on perception. In the present experiment, moral beauty com...
Chapter
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Universities have changed over the past forty years that I have been teaching. We see more and more hybridized course offerings that build bridges across various disciplines. The same kind of process is evident in the hiring practices of research-oriented departments of psychology. In “the old days” we hired new faculty either in social/personality...
Book
Full-text available
Gerald C. Cupchik builds a bridge between science and the humanities, arguing that interactions between mind and body in everyday life are analogous to relations between subject matter and style in art. According to emotional phase theory, emotional reactions emerge in a 'perfect storm' whereby meaningful situations evoke bodily memories that uncon...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a study to examine how people perceptually encode and then recognize real artworks and constructed design patterns. We first manipulated depth of processing during an incidental perceptual encoding task (Phase 1) wherein participants made both affective/aesthetic and cognitive judgments. For painting stimuli, the contrast was between l...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the role of affective/physiognomic perception in emotion perception, and its contribution to meaning construction in the absence of any representation. Following Werner's microgenetic paradigm, by peeling away the fossilized representational level in the drawings, we attempted to link both the "subjective" emotion experience of...
Article
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This experiment examined how “warm” and “cool” video walkthroughs stimulated narratives. “Warm spaces” had red color schemes, whereas “cool” spaces were sparse with blue color schemes. In Part 1, 48 participants rated four “warm” and four “cool” walkthroughs on scales related to essential qualities of a home. “Warm” walkthroughs were more familiar,...
Article
Full-text available
pplapi.com (pronounced “people API”) is a web-based data service that provides access to a synthetic world population, n = 7,171,922,938. Researchers can submit queries to pplapi.com using its Application Programming Interface (API) to obtain samples consisting of synthetic agents drawn from this population. Because researchers do not need to host...
Article
Full-text available
pplapi.com (pronounced “people API”) is a web-based data service that provides access to a synthetic world population, n = 7,171,922,938. Researchers can submit queries to pplapi.com using its Application Programming Interface (API) to obtain samples consisting of synthetic agents drawn from this population. Because researchers do not need to host...
Chapter
Full-text available
Pragmatic and aesthetic experiences Studying aesthetic reception is important to mainstream psychology because it incorporates and goes beyond the pragmatism of everyday cognition that emphasizes object identification. In everyday cognition, the physical sensory features (i.e., colors, shapes and textures) that make up objects are discarded en rout...
Article
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Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments were performed to answer this question. Experiment 1 investigated the network of moral aesthetic judgments and facial aesthetic judgments. Participants performed aesthetic judgments and gender judgments on both faces and scenes containing moral acts....
Article
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The propagation of online memes is initially influenced by meme creators and secondarily by meme consumers, whose individual sharing decisions accumulate to determine total meme propagation. We characterize this as a sender/receiver sequence in which the first sender is also the creator. This sequence consists of two distinct processes, the creatio...
Article
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The dorsal and ventral aspects of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are the two regions most consistently recruited in divergent thinking tasks. Given that frontal tasks have been shown to be vulnerable to sleep loss, we explored the impact of a single night of sleep deprivation on fluency (i.e., number of generated responses) and PFC function during div...
Article
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The present study was conducted to investigate whether the calming effect induced by viewing traditional Chinese landscape paintings would make disengagement from that mental state more difficult, as measured by performance on a cognitive control task. In Experiment 1 we examined the subjective experience of viewing traditional Chinese landscape pa...
Article
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This study explored reader responses to different literary depictions of rape. Four literary excerpts were used and divided as aesthetic versus nonaesthetic (style) and allusive versus explicit (detail). The general question was how would readers react to literary fragments depicting rape and whether the level of aesthetics and the level of explici...
Article
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Receiving the Arnheim Award has provided an occasion to reflect on experiences with teachers at various stages of my career. We examined phenomena in emotion and aesthetics from diverse perspectives and this led me to consider the assumptions underlying our theories, methods, and professional communication. These studies explored how feelings and e...
Article
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How shall we guide ourselves to ensure that research on creation and reception are ecologically valid, representative of natural processes in everyday life? Rather than romanticizing science, we need to be critically aware of the hidden assumptions which lie behind the empirical narratives that appear in journals. Francis Bacon awakened us to the “...
Article
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This paper examines feelings and emotions in relation to entertainment experiences. Feelings reflect an appraisal of everyday events or media products that shape our experience of pleasure and interest which are complementary. Pleasure can result from the meaningful interpretation of a program or from positive associations that it evokes. Interest...
Article
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Thirty-two undergraduates inhaled odors while outlining episodes, set in 8 living rooms, involving either themselves or the actual inhabitants. They rated odors, rooms, and episodes on 7-point scales and were tested for odor recognition. Episodes were content analyzed, and the frequency of categories was assessed. Separate factor analyses determine...
Article
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This study examined the effects of emotional subject matter and descriptive style in short story excerpts on text (e.g. rich in meaning) and reader response-oriented (e.g. liking) ratings. Forty-eight subjects, including equal numbers of trained and novice male and female students, read two examples of each text twice and either generated or receiv...
Article
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When we view visual images in everyday life, our perception is oriented toward object identification. In contrast, when viewing visual images as artworks, we also tend to experience subjective reactions to their stylistic and structural properties. This experiment sought to determine how cognitive control and perceptual facilitation contribute to a...
Article
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In the 1940s and 50s, melodrama was described as "the lady's film," whereas men were the supposed fans of film noir. No empirical studies were conducted with filmgoers of that era to validate such claims. This study examined responses of modern-day audiences comprising 16 females and 16 males to these classic genres. An experimental montage techni...
Article
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Eighty-nine students from the University of Toronto completed a 20-item self-consciousness questionnaire. They also provided a written account of a self-conscious (e.g., embarrassing) episode from everyday life as well as a self-conscious episode from a dream. Factor analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed 6 factors, with public and privat...
Chapter
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Design objects can be understood to serve a function and to embody an internal structure that is potentially expressive. Cognitive approaches to design focus on relations between function and structure, whereas holistic perspectives examine relations between function and expression as mediated by structure. This chapter discusses holistic perspecti...
Article
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Rudolf Arnheim applied the fundamental principles of Gestalt psychology to the creation and appreciation of film and art. These principles emphasize the primacy of structured perception and the spontaneous experience of emotional expression. The interplay of compositional "forces" creates a sense of tension in the overall structure of an artwork. V...
Article
Rudolf Arnheim was born July 15, 1904, and he has maintained contact with colleagues past his centenary year. A symposium, "Honoring Rudolf Arnheim at 100: Creating Psychology and the Arts," was held at the 113th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2005, and he sent along a welcoming no...
Article
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A study was conducted to determine the value of personality and background variables (e g, emotional responsivity, anxiety, parental memories, art training) as predictors of painting preferences One set of 24 paintings was selected, holding theme (sexual or aggressive) constant while contrasting Idealized (12) with Expressionist (12) styles Another...
Article
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Multifractal analysis techniques are applied to patterns in several abstract expressionist artworks, painted by various artists. The analysis is carried out on two distinct types of structures: the physical patterns formed by a specific color ("blobs") and patterns formed by the luminance gradient between adjacent colors ("edges"). It is found that...
Article
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The similarity in fractal dimensions of paint ``blobs'' in samples of gestural expressionist art implies that these pigment structures are statistically indistinguishable from one another. This result suggests that such dimensions cannot be used as a ``fingerprint'' for identifying the work of a single artist. To overcome this limitation, the multi...
Article
Full-text available
Multifractal analysis techniques are applied to patterns in several abstract expressionist artworks, paintined by various artists. The analysis is carried out on two distinct types of structures: the physical patterns formed by a specific color (``blobs''), as well as patterns formed by the luminance gradient between adjacent colors (``edges''). It...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of hedonic odour context on cognitive and affective processes involved in reading literary excerpts. A total of 32 undergraduate subjects smelled pleasant and unpleasant odours, while reading eight passages that touched upon positive or negative subject matter and were either engaged or detached in style, in a fully...
Article
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This study examined cognitive and emotional responses to odours in the laboratory in relation to everyday attitudes toward odours. A total of 136 subjects completed a questionnaire about the role of Odours in Everyday Life (OELQ) and their responses were summed to develop an index of overall responsiveness to odours: 36 subjects, who were in the to...
Article
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The study investigated the differences between reading a poem, listening to a poem, and watching a live poetic performance. Stimulus materials included three poems with positive and three with negative themes written by Michelle Hilscher. The 32 participants, including an equal number of males and females in psychology and literature, completed a G...
Article
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Personal life-narratives, like literary narratives, comprize both subject matter and style conveying information about experiences in a structured manner. The subject matter of these anecdotes generally concern relations between self and other and the main style factor contrasts an engaged first-person or a detached third-person perspective. Attrib...
Article
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This study examined the effects on recall of story details of congruity or incongruity between the hedonic valence of literary texts and odours inhaled while reading them. During the reading session, 24 undergraduates (12 males and 12 females) read two passages involving positive subject matter and two with negative subject matter while sniffing pl...
Article
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It is well known that memories of self-relevant experiences are reconstructed over time. Artworks often require an elongated period of interpretative meaning-making. Such works were therefore used to study temporal aspects of memory construction. In a longitudinal study, individuals' memories of artworks were examined to explore the idea that only...
Article
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Creative metaphors in language juxtapose two words which appear quite different on the surface, but share an underlying similarity given a particular context. In the metaphor 'life is a river,' the vehicle 'river' modifies the tenor 'life' and draws our attention to life's meandering and the constant flow of time. Scholars have emphasized a dynamic...
Article
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This experiment examined judgements of living and dining rooms presented in architectural and interior design decoration magazines, and tested recognition memory for incidental details selected from them. Two matched sets of 12 rooms, each comprising four Decorative, four Familiar, and four Stylish rooms used in an earlier study (Ritterfeld & Cupch...
Article
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An examination of sex differences in spatial abilities reveals comparative superiority of males and females on mental rotation and location memory tasks, respectively. The existing cross-cultural data focus primarily on male-biased spatial tests and suggests that the sex difference in mental rotation ability is near universal. While cultural pressu...