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Judging the Aesthetic Quality versus Technical Skill in Tai Chi Movements
June 22, 2015 -
Do experts and amateur practitioners judge the beauty and the technical quality of a Tai Chi sequence differently? Researchers from University of Verona of Italy conducted a study to answer this question. Their hypothesis were: i) movement evaluation will correlate with the level of skill expressed in the kinematics of the observed action but ii) only experts will be able to unravel the technical component from the aesthetic component of the observed action.

The judgments delivered indicate that both expert and non-expert observers are able to discern a good from a mediocre performance; however, as expected, only experts discriminate the technical from the aesthetic component of the action evaluated and do this independently of the level of skill shown by the model (high or middle level performances).

Furthermore, the judgments delivered were strongly related to the kinematic variables measured in the observed model, indicating that observers rely on specific movement kinematics (e.g. movement amplitude, jerk and duration) for action evaluation.

These results provide evidence of the complementary functional role of visual and motor action representation in movement evaluation and underline the role of expertise in judging the aesthetic quality of movements.


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