Donnerstag, 21. Juni 2018, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Babies rule!

Niches, scaffoldings and the development of an aesthetic ability in humans

(Talk of Dr. Mariagrazia Portera, IASH, University of Edinburgh)

Fakultät für Psychologie, Hörsaal G, 2. Stock (linke Stiege)
Liebigasse 5, 1010 Wien


The concepts of "niche" and “scaffolding”, and the expression "niche construction process", at the centre of recent debates in evolutionary biology, developmental psychology and cognitive sciences, focus on the two-way process between organisms and their environment by which organisms simultaneously shape and are shaped, at various levels, by the environment in which they are embedded. In this talk I shall argue that the introduction of the notions of "niche” and “scaffolding” as key-terms ("aesthetic niche”, “esthetic scaffolding") in an empirically and evolutionarily informed aesthetics could give rise to a useful perspective for understanding the development and functioning of the aesthetic ability in humans. I shall focus, in particular, on the developmental aspects of the notion of "aesthetic niche” and “esthetic scaffolding": How do children develop the ability to aesthetically appreciate and aesthetically evaluate things, events, phenomena and other people? Where does the aesthetic ability come from? How do children manage to inter-regulate and harmonize the emotional and cognitive layers of their experience, the inter-regulation and harmonization of which ("interplay of emotion and cognition") seems to be at the very heart of every aesthetic experience? The notion of “niche”, in particular the notion of "developmental aesthetic niche", and the strictly related notion of “scaffolding”, can open an intriguing window to look at these questions from a renewed perspective.




Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods (EVA Lab)


Abla Marie-Jose Bedi
Institut für Psychologische Grundlagenforschung und Forschungsmethoden
Allgemeine Psychologie/EVA Lab