Open Access

Giving the Art Greater weight in Art Psychology: RizbA, a Questionnaire for Formal Picture Analysis


In empirical art psychology and creativity research most studies focus on the psychological correlates of art. Only few go beyond treating artworks as categorical data (e.g. abstract vs. representational) and consider artworks in detail. In part this is due to the lack of reliable quantitative measurements. The rating instrument for two-dimensional pictorial works (RizbA) makes a difference to current research designs. The current study validates the questionnaire on a representative sample of contemporary visual art, consisting of 318 images depicting works by artists from different cultural areas dated to the 21st century. In a randomized test-retest design, the pictorial material was rated by 506 (T1) and 238 (T2) art experts using RizbA. Statistical quality criteria, such as item difficulty, capacity of differentiation, test-retest reliability, and intraclass correlation were calculated. Principal component analysis (PCA) and indices of factor similarity were computed. The overall test’s capacity for differentiation yields partial eta-squared of .31 (T1) and .40 (T2). Test-retest reliability is .86. PCA reveals an eight-factor solution, which is largely consistent across both measurement points. Tucker’s coefficient of congruence ranges between |.71| and |1.00|. Intraclass correlation coefficients are .86 (T1) and .73 (T2). This study indicates generalizability of the questionnaire to contemporary artworks. Although a conclusion on the factors’ structure cannot be drawn yet, results are very promising. As the first reliable quantitative tool for formal picture analysis, RizbA allows more detailedexamination of visual art and its psychological correlates. This broadens research methodology by giving art greater weight in art psychology and creativity research.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Arts, general, Social Sciences, Psychology, Development Psychology, Applied Psychology, Education, other