The quest for psychological symmetry through figural goodness, randomness, and complexity: A selective review

Daniel Fitousi*, Daniel Algom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Of the four interrelated concepts in the title, only symmetry has an exact mathematical definition. In mathematical development, symmetry is a graded variable—in marked contrast with the popular binary conception of symmetry in and out of the laboratory (i.e. an object is either symmetrical or nonsymmetrical). Because the notion does not have a direct graded perceptual counterpart (experimental participants are not asked about the amount of symmetry of an object), students of symmetry have taken various detours to characterize the perceptual effects of symmetry. Current approaches have been informed by information theory, mathematical group theory, randomness research, and complexity. Apart from reviewing the development of the main approaches, for the first time we calculated associations between figural goodness as measured in the Garner tradition and measures of algorithmic complexity and randomness developed in recent research. We offer novel ideas and analyses by way of integrating the various approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Journali-Perception
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science FoundationISF-543/19, ISF-1498/21
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • complexity
    • figural goodness
    • randomness
    • symmetry

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