Affect from Art - Arki, taide ja tunteet (2015-2016)



How does pleasure of everyday music listening and visual objects relate to emotional wellbeing?

Affect from Art – Subjective Constituents of Everyday Pleasure of Music and Pictures, a multidisciplinary project under way at the University of Jyväskylä, renews research of emotional experiences evoked by music and visual objects. Through comparison of the unique characteristics and similarities between these two modalities, the project investigates how music and pictures in everyday life can be utilized as supportive elements of emotional wellbeing.

It is asked in the research:

  • Which feelings and emotions constitute musical and visual pleasure in daily life?
  • How do music and visual objects change emotional states?
  • How does personality and other traits relate to musically and visually evoked emotions?
  • Which emotional skills contribute to making musical and visual experiences beneficial for emotional health, and when do these experiences produce harmful effects?

To study all this, Affect from Art combines approaches from musicology, art and cultural research, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This multidisciplinary project integrates experimental research within humanistic paradigms, and renews art research through a fundamentally comparative approach to music and pictures, to identify the unique strengths of both modalities. The project aims to strengthen understanding of the different modalities’ emotional effects. In everyday practice, these questions become relevant when developing environments supporting people’s emotional health and wellbeing – whether this is in private or public space, digital environments or virtual reality.

The subject is currently being investigated through an international online survey. The survey can be shared freely on social media. Take the survey by following the link:


The project is funded by Kone Foundation.


For more information on the project, please contact:

PhD researcher Johanna Maksimainen
Dept. of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä
Tel. 050 411 0678


Docent Suvi Saarikallio
Dept. of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä