We define the need for sense-making as the desire to find reliable connections between the objects, situations, and relationships that people encounter. We have proposed and tested that there are possible individual differences in the need for sense-making and that these individual differences are insightful in characterizing individuals and their behaviors. A correlational study (N = 229) showed that need for sense-making was positively related to self-esteem, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, and sense of control. Additionally, a higher need for sense-making was associated with greater perception of it as an important part of people’s identity. Thus, need for sense-making is relevant to understanding individual differences and can furthermore comprise a significant element of people’s identity. These results break new ground in the study of individual differences in the need for sense-making and can be of great importance in work and organizational psychology.
Personality, demographics and art experience proved to play an important role in reactions to visual art. Nevertheless, research attempts that take into account all those factors when determining predictors of aesthetic responses to different artistic styles are quite rare. The study presented here investigates predictors of aesthetic experience across figurative, abstract and contemporary paintings in individuals with varying expertise. Students enrolled in Sport, Humanities and the Arts programmes (N = 181) declared their art exposure and filled out personality measures (Big Five, alexithymia, need for closure). Next participants evaluated three paintings using a tool constructed by the authors to track various dimensions of aesthetic reactions (i.e. negative/positive affective responses, self-references, explicit knowledge and perceived mastery of the artwork). Reactions to figurative painting depended mostly on formal knowledge about arts, not personality traits. Aesthetic perception of abstract art rely not only on art exposure, but also on some individual characteristics (openness to experience, tolerance of ambiguity and ability to identify one’s own emotions and track their source). Reception of contemporary art was predicted mostly by art exposure variables and in the case of negative emotionality by ability to identify one’s own emotions and track their source. Both formal art education and art experience were stronger predictors of aesthetic responses than personality traits, for all art styles and dimensions of aesthetic experience. Personality predictors were significant mostly for abstract art. Personal interest in the arts seems to be as good predictor of aesthetic reactions as formal expertise.
According to the psycho-lexical approach in the taxonomy of individual differences, those interpersonal differences, which are the most important for social functioning of individual, have been encoded into natural languages. Therefore by analyzing the lexicons of interpersonal differences, it is possible to identify structures of their descriptions. Application of the psycho-lexical approach in the field of psychology of individual differences lead to obtaining the relatively high consistency regarding scientific taxonomy of personality traits. Also models developed on this basis meet the most important criteria of goodness of the psychological structural models. As a result, the accumulation of knowledge about person’s psychological functioning have been intensified. The aim of the article is to present the specificity of lexical studies and their taxonomical potential for social sciences, as well as key threats and limitations, based on experience of previous psycho-lexical research.