This study had three main objects. Firstly, to test hypotheses derived from studies relating to tire
Rorschach Ink Blot Test, and related tests, which have shown correlations between personality traits and
perceptual styles. In particular, the study focused on the personality traits of emotionality, extraversion,
intelligence and imagination, and the perceptual styles of colour, form and movement responsiveness.
The second aim was to apply these hypotheses relating perceptual style and personality to response
to modern paintings. It was hypothesized that since response to visual art must be at least initially perceptual and perceptual styles are habitual modes of response, perceptual styles elicited by Rorschach and
other tests should also be elicited by paintings and relate to hypothesized personality traits.
The third object was to derive measures of colour, form and movement responsiveness in relation to
paintings, which as well as reflecting perceptual styles, could be said to reflect an "appropriate response"
to specific works of art. Paintings were chosen as representative of Expressionist, Cubist and Futurist
schools of art. From descriptions of the aims of these movements, by the artists themselves, critics, and
art historians it was concluded that they rely for their effects primarily on the representation of colour,
form and movement respectively. Response to Expressionist paintings in terms of colour, Cubist in terms
of form, and Futurist in terms of movement was therefore considered a reflection of appropriate response,
in so far as such responses reflect reaction to the aspect of the painting which the artist intended. In
order to explore the relationship of measures of appropriate response to perceptual style and personality
traits, these measures were intercorrelated.
In general, results confirm the hypotheses relating personality traits and perceptual styles, as measured by Rorschach, specific tests and in response to paintings
The measure of response to painting which reflected appropriate response most directly was that
reflecting percentage of colour, form and movement response to pertinent paintings. It therefore controlled for general tendency to respond indiscriminately in terms of colour, form or movement, and
showed little relationship to basic measures of these perceptual styles. This measure was found to relate
more closely to various cognitive styles than to personality traits.
The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of a theory which views the expression of
individual differences — aesthetic, perceptual, cognitive and social — as governed by subsystems of the
total personality structure.