It would be futile to try to give a summary of the findings reported in this book. Indeed, so far as the book has any value it lies chiefly in the mass of individual reactions recorded. In this last chapter my main purpose will be to consider some psychological points and methods of approach which link together our studies of the three Arts -- pictures, music and poetry.
However, it may first be useful, especially for the reader who has not read all the three main sections of this book, if I recall a few special points in each of the successive chapters, omitting those which we shall deal with later in this chapter as psychological elements and methods of approach.
In the Introduction I emphasized that my task was limited by the range of experiments that had been carried out about the enjoyment of beauty; and that my special problem was not a precise definition of the term "beauty", but a study of individual reactions to objects regarded as beautiful. It was also stressed that while it is not the psychologist's business to say what is beautiful and what is not, he may be able to explain differing judgements on objects by reference to individual psychological differences. The critics on the other hand concentrate on the objects themselves (pictures, poems or music) for reasons of their goodness or beauty.
I described the special characteristics of the psychological state in which beauty is enjoyed, the most important being delighted absorption in the object itself.
In Chapters II and III the influence of associations, conscious and unconscious, on liking for colours was illustrated, and of general environmental influences, but evidence was also given for some innate response to colour. This was supported by the resemblance of the general order of colour preferences in (a) white and (b) coloured persons. In experiments with single colours fundamental