2020 Volume 19 Issue 3 Pages 207-216
How do peoples’ educational backgrounds affect peoples’ visual estimations of the physical stability and center of mass of objects? To address this, we tested peoples’ aesthetic and stability evaluations of inclined triangular shapes among those with different educational backgrounds, specifically in engineering and art & design. The results showed that people prefer objects that appear stable; however, art & design students tend to emphasize the beauty of unstable objects. Additionally, participants linearly estimated objects’ stability based on the visual information for its center of mass, with this being affected by one’s educational background as well as any present geometric-optical illusions. Engineering students tended to more severely evaluate the instability of objects, while those with an art & design background demonstrated a more flexible mindset - they evaluated similar trends as the engineering participants for unstable stimuli, but, for apparently stable stimuli, they had similar evaluation trends to those of general students.