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date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a critical review of methods used in psychological research focused on understanding observational drawing performance. First, observational drawing is defined and distinguished from other types of drawing behaviors. Then, the general questions investigated in observational drawing research are described, along with a review of the methods used to address them and a discussion of each method’s general limitations. Next follows a description of basic drawing and tracing tasks administered in laboratory studies. Following this, subjective and objective measurement methods used to assess drawing performance (or accuracy) are reviewed in conjunction with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each measurement method. The chapter concludes with a discussion of possible directions of future research, specifically by discussing (a) ways that the approach of measuring drawing performance can be improved, and (b) methods one can adopt to better understand the causal relationship between drawing skill and cognitive and perceptual processing abilities.

Keywords: Observational drawing, research methods, artists, perception, cognition

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