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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Children engage with art, music, dance, and theater as early as they can move, make noise, and play. Yet theories of aesthetic responses are missing a developmental perspective. Large questions remain about the development of aesthetic response and reasoning, including whether there is a qualitative difference between children’s aesthetic reasoning and appreciation and adults’ reasoning and appreciation, how childhood artistic activities are linked to adult artistic activities, and how aesthetic responses are tied to other developmental processes in social, emotional, and cognitive development. Significant work in other areas such as intention processing, understanding of representation, emotion understanding, and attention points to developmental trajectories in aesthetics, but this work has only rarely been applied within or across art forms. Open questions across art forms, types of responses, and ages of development mean fertile ground for researchers interested in appreciation, understanding, and reactions to art, dance, music, and theater.

Keywords: Child development, aesthetic appreciation, intentionality judgment, aesthetic emotion

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