The New York Times:
The psychologist George E. Newman of the Yale School of Management studies how people use “quasi-magical thinking” to intuitively determine the value of certain objects. By analyzing celebrity auctions of John F. Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe’s personal effects, he has shown that the price of a piece of memorabilia is connected to how often it was thought to be used or touched by a famous person — as if there’s a kind of real-world value placed on a celebrity’s “essence.”
Recently, Mr. Newman has switched his attention to the art world. In his latest paper, published last month in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science and co-authored by Daniel M. Bartels and Rosanna K. Smith, he staged a pair of experiments that show how flimsy or essential the term “art” can be.
Read the whole story: The New York Times