Katherine N Cotter

Katherine N Cotter
University of Pennsylvania | UP · Positive Psychology Center

Doctor of Philosophy

About

61
Publications
23,571
Reads
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447
Citations
Introduction
Katherine studies topics related to the psychology of music, aesthetic experiences, and creativity and personality, with an emphasis on ecological momentary assessment techniques.
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - present
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2015 - May 2020
August 2010 - May 2014
Elizabethtown College
Field of study
  • Psychology
August 2010 - May 2014
Elizabethtown College
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Aesthetics, creativity, and arts researchers employ a variety of methods to answer their research questions. Ecological methods—assessing people in their everyday environments—are becoming more common, but researchers curious to try conducting a daily life study often find these methods complex and intimidating. Here we provide a brief overview of...
Article
Full-text available
Hearing music in your head is a ubiquitous experience, but the role mental control plays in these experiences has not been deeply addressed. In this conceptual analysis, a dual-component model of mental control in musical imagery experiences is developed and discussed. The first component, initiation, refers to whether the musical imagery experienc...
Article
Full-text available
People visit museums with differing motivations. We use Falk’s visitor identity model to examine visitors’ motivation to visit an art museum. We assess (1) the prevalence of different motivation types; (2) how visit motivations and outcomes relate to visit satisfaction and length; and (3) the relation between visit motivations and fulfillment of ex...
Article
Full-text available
Mental control of musical imagery consists of two components: initiation—did you start it on purpose?—and management—did you alter, sustain, or end the experience after it began? The present research examined these two components of mental control using both behavioral lab-based musical imagery tasks and self-reports of mental control in daily life...
Article
Full-text available
Visiting art museums is a common activity that a wide variety of people choose to engage in for many reasons. Increasingly, communities, nations, and societies are turning to art museums as institutions to enhance flourishing (i.e., reducing ill-being factors, such as depression, and increasing well-being factors, such as feelings of belonging). In...
Article
People visit art museums for many reasons—to see something beautiful or famous, to learn more about art, or to experience a sense of awe. Recently, there has been increased interest in how art museum engagement can promote flourishing. Little is known, however, about how the professionals shaping these art museum experiences (e.g., curators, educat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Throughout history, visual art has helped people feel connected to each other, experience a deep sense of belonging to their communities, and enhance their own well-being. In recent years, many museums have increased their digital presence to engage with the public in new ways, including curating unique virtual experiences. The present research exa...
Preprint
Full-text available
People visit art museums for many reasons—to see something beautiful or famous, to learn more about art, or to experience a sense of awe. Recently, there has been increased interest in how art museum engagement can promote flourishing. Little is known, however, how the professionals shaping these art museum experiences (e.g., curators, educators, f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Studies of everyday creativity suggest that some people are like creative omnivores, dabbling in a broad range of creative pursuits, but others are like picky eaters, focusing on a single creative passion. A week-long experience sampling study examined the breadth vs depth of 125 university students’ everyday creative activities. Several times a da...
Article
Full-text available
Myths about creativity keep contributing to its mysterious aura despite our increasing scientific understanding of this complex phenomenon. This study examined the prevalence of known creativity myths across six countries from diverse cultural backgrounds and explored why some people believe in them more than others. Results revealed persistent, wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Visiting art museums is a common activity that a wide variety of people choose to engage in for many reasons. Increasingly, communities, nations, and societies are turning to art museums as institutions to contribute to flourishing (i.e., reducing ill-being factors, such as depression, and increasing well-being factors, such as feelings of belongin...
Article
Full-text available
The psychology of art and aesthetics has a long-standing interest in how low-level features, such as symmetry, curvature, and color, affect people’s aesthetic experience. Recent research in this tradition suggests that people find glossy, shiny objects and materials more attractive than flat, matte ones. The present experiment sought to replicate a...
Preprint
The aesthetic experience of a collection of works—such as a sculpture garden, a neighborhood filled with street art, or an afternoon spent wandering in a museum—is not simply the sum of experiences of the individual works. In the present research, we explored visit-level aesthetic experiences in a field study of 298 visitors to a museum of modern a...
Article
In seven studies (n = 1,133), adults tried to create funny ideas and then rated the funniness of their responses, which were also independently rated by judges. In contrast to the common “funnier than average” effect found for global self-ratings, people were relatively modest and self-critical about their specific ideas. Extraversion (r = .12 [.07...
Article
Full-text available
The Aesthetic Fluency Scale is a commonly used measure of people’s art knowledge. This scale was initially developed for museum visitors, but its usage has expanded to other populations, including non-arts students. The present research used an Item Response Theory approach to better understand the scale’s functioning in two samples—artistically en...
Article
Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) has well-known links with humor appreciation, such as enjoying jokes that target deviant groups, but less is known about RWA and creative humor production—coming up with funny ideas oneself. A sample of 186 young adults completed a measure of RWA, the HEXACO-100, and 3 humor production tasks that involved writing f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mental control of musical imagery consists of two components: initiation—did you start it on purpose?—and management—did you alter, sustain, or end the experience after it began?. The present research examined these two components of mental control using both behavioral lab-based musical imagery tasks and self-reports of mental control in daily lif...
Preprint
Full-text available
People visit museums with differing motivations. We use Falk’s visitor identity model to examine visitors’ motivation to visit an art museum. We assess (1) the prevalence of different motivation types; (2) how visit motivations and outcomes relate to visit satisfaction and length; and (3) the relation between visit motivations and fulfillment of ex...
Preprint
In seven studies (n = 1,133), adults tried to create funny ideas and then rated the funniness of their responses, which were also independently rated by judges. People were relatively modest and self-critical about their ideas. Extraversion (r = .12 [.07, .18], k =7) and openness to experience (r = .09 [.03, .15], k = 7) predicted rating one’s resp...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Aesthetic Fluency Scale is a commonly used measure of people’s art knowledge. This scale was initially developed for museum visitors, but its usage has expanded to other populations, including non-arts students. The present research used an Item Response Theory approach to better understand the scale’s functioning in two samples—artistically en...
Preprint
The psychology of art and aesthetics has a long-standing interest in how low-level features, such as symmetry, curvature, and color, affect people’s aesthetic experience. Recent research in this tradition suggests that people find glossy, shiny objects and materials more attractive than flat, matte ones. The present experiment sought to replicate a...
Preprint
Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) has well-known links with humor appreciation, such as enjoying jokes that target deviant groups, but less is known about RWA and creative humor production—coming up with funny ideas oneself. A sample of 186 young adults completed a measure of RWA, the HEXACO-100, and 3 humor production tasks that involved writing f...
Article
Full-text available
Mental control of musical imagery is a complex but understudied process that consists of two components: initiation—whether the musical imagery experience began voluntarily or involuntarily—and management—whether instances of control occur after the experience has begun (e.g., changing the song). The present research examined these two components u...
Article
Researchers often use divergent thinking tasks to assess creative potential and find a positive inter-individual relation between fluency and originality. But are there different within-person patterns of originality and fluency? Study 1: undergraduates completed an alternate uses task and the NEO-FFI. Three profiles emerged: (1) low originality an...
Thesis
Full-text available
Mental control of musical imagery is a complex, but understudied, process that consists of two components: initiation-whether the musical imagery experience began voluntarily or involuntarily-and management-whether instances of control occur after the experience has begun (e.g., changing the song, stopping the experience). The present research exam...
Article
Full-text available
Sublime encounters provide a compelling example of the peaks of our shared emotional and cognitive experiences. For centuries, these have been a target for philosophy and, more recently, for psychology, with its renewed focus on profound or aesthetic events. The sublime has been theoretically connected to multiple contexts, from interactions with o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mental control of musical imagery is a complex but understudied process that consists of two components: initiation—whether the musical imagery experience began voluntarily or involuntarily—and management—whether instances of control occur after the experience has begun (e.g., changing the song). The present research examined these two components u...
Article
Full-text available
How easily can people tune their inner radio? Musical imagery—hearing music in your mind—is common but little is known about people’s ability to control their musical imagery in daily life. A recent model (Cotter, Christensen, & Silvia, in press) distinguishes between initiation (starting musical imagery) vs. management (modifying, stopping, or sus...
Data
This is unpublished analyses. These analyses will be written up one day but is otherwise lodged in the file drawer. Use of these analyses is permitted for meta-analytic purposes and in reference for researchers interested in the topic of Openness to Experience and humor production ability. Three raters completed ratings (0, not funny at all; 1, so...
Preprint
Full-text available
How easily can people tune their inner radio? Musical imagery—hearing music in your mind—is common and complex, but little is known about people’s ability to control their musical imagery in daily life. A recent model proposed by Cotter, Christensen, and Silvia distinguishes between initiation (starting musical imagery) vs. management (modifying, s...
Article
How do people come up with humorous ideas? In creative cognition research, exposure to good examples sometimes causes fixation (people get “stuck” on the examples and generate similar responses) but other times sparks inspiration (people come up with more creative responses). The present research examined the effects of funny and unfunny examples o...
Preprint
Psychometric network analysis is an emerging tool to investigate the structure of psychological and psychopathological constructs. To date, most of the psychometric network literature has emphasized the measurement of constructs (e.g., dimensional structure); however, this represents only one aspect of psychometrics. In the present study, we explor...
Article
Full-text available
Feeling like crying is a common response to music. Recent work suggests two forms of aesthetic crying: an awe-inspired, positive kind, and a distressed, sad kind. Besides their emotional tone, what differentiates these experiences? The present research examined the context and subjective musical content of aesthetic crying. A sample of 961 adults d...
Data
Supplementary Materials for "Understanding Inner Music: A Dimensional Approach to Musical Imagery"
Article
This version of record is a post-peer review preprint of an article accepted by the European Journal of Personality. It may not represent the final published manuscript that is available through the journal (doi: 10.1002/per.2157). Data, R code, cleaning procedures, and analysis methods are all openly available on the Open Science Framework: https:...
Article
Full-text available
Musical imagery—hearing music inside your head that isn’t playing in the environment—is a common yet complex experience. To capture the diversity of musical imagery, the present research develops a new conceptual framework consisting of five dimensions, including a distinction between initiation and management as different ways in which musical ima...
Article
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article accepted to the Journal of Personality Assessment (doi: 10.1080/00223891.2018.1467428). Openness to Experience is a complex trait whose taxonomic structure has been widely debated. Previous research has provided greater clarity of its lower-order structure by synthesizing facets across...
Chapter
This chapter explores how ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods can illuminate everyday creativity, the often humble creative acts people do in their natural environments. After describing the notion of everyday creativity that guides this work, the present chapter reviews some common research designs and salient methodological issues for r...
Article
Full-text available
Musical imagery—hearing music in your mind that isn’t playing in the environment—has been investigated using both retrospective methods (self-report scales of typical experiences) and in vivo methods (assessing inner music as it happens in daily life). But because musical imagery is often fleeting and on the fringe of conscious attention, retrospec...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We consider some methodological issues in past research and present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults (n = 134) viewed silver coins that were either dull or in “brilliant...
Thesis
Full-text available
Inner music—hearing music inside your head that isn’t playing in the environment—is a common experience that takes many forms. Research on inner music, however, has primarily emphasized instances of involuntary, aversive musical imagery, such as “earworms.” The present research develops a new conceptual framework, consisting of five fundamental dim...
Article
Full-text available
A preference for smooth curvature, as opposed to angularity, is a well-established finding for lines, two-dimensional shapes, and complex objects, but little is known about individual differences. We used two-dimensional black-and-white shapes—randomly generated irregular polygons, and arrays of circles and hexagons—and measured many individual dif...
Article
Full-text available
Music often makes people feel like crying (get a lump in their throat and tears in their eyes) or actually cry. Because crying can co-occur with so many emotions, the present study explored what feeling like crying feels like. A sample of 892 adults reported whether they could remember a time when they cried or felt like crying when listening to mu...
Article
Full-text available
Involuntary musical imagery—music popping into your head that is not present in the environment—is a common experience, but relatively little is known about individual differences in involuntary musical imagery. The present research examined the Involuntary Musical Imagery Scale (IMIS), a promising new measure that assesses the frequency and qualit...
Article
A major question for research on the development of creativity is whether it is interested in creative potential (a prospective approach that uses measures early in life to predict adult creativity) or in children's creativity for its own sake. We suggest that a focus on potential for future creativity diminishes the fascinating creative world of c...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers are challenging college admissions to shift practices to become more inclusive and to consider a range of abilities, including creativity. Admissions counselors must examine limited information and then maximize what they learn. How can admissions counselors use existing data to identify creative students? Research suggests that creativ...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
This project is about understanding the impacts of art museum visitation and engagement has on well-being. This work includes research conducted during in-person art museum visits as well as online art gallery experiences.
Project
This project contains didactic pieces focusing on daily life methods of measurement.
Project
This project, also my PhD research, concerns explorations into the visual mechanisms, cross-modal interactions, and emotional characterisations (especially of fear) of the sublime and beautiful. Edmund Burke's 1759 work, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, forms a central element in many of the assumptions, questions, and findings.