Dan Hill

Dan Hill, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the role of emotions in politics, business, sports and culture. He pioneered the use of facial coding in business to capture emotional dynamics and has done work for over 50% of the world’s top 100 B2C companies. He’s also been a political pundit for CNN, The New York Times, Reuters, Fox, and MSNBC, among other media outlets, since the 2004 presidential race. His eight books include Emotionomics, chosen by Advertising Age as a top 10 must-read book of 2009 and featuring a foreword by Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons; and among his three most recent books, First Blush: People’s Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art. Dan holds a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University, following a M.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University and has thrice been noted with commendation in The Best American Essays series.

The conservative scientific estimation is that 95% of people’s mental activity isn’t fully conscious. First Blush is by far the largest study ever done involving eye tracking and art – plus facial coding, to capture how participants felt about what they were precisely seeing (and experiencing).
This handout picture received from Christies auction house on May 27, 2014 shows an artwork entitled “My Bed” by British artist Tracey Emin. Tracey Emin’s unmade bed artfully littered with condoms, cigarette packs and underwear is expected to fetch around £1 million (1.2 million euros, $1.7 million) at auction. The work, called simply “My Bed”, cemented Emin’s notoriety when it was shortlisted for the 1999 Turner Prize, although the British artist eventually lost out to future Oscar winner Steve McQueen, who directed “12 Years a Slave”.  AFP PHOTO / CHRISTIES
Caption for Tracy Emin eye-tracking results for My Bed – Tracy Emin’s installation piece, My Bed, was the top-performing art work in First Blush. That result is based on both driving a high volume of fixations (where the eye stays with a detail long enough for it to mentally register) and a high volume of emotional engagement (when facial muscle activity reflects interest).
SHARE
Previous articleLeila Seyedzadeh
Next articleFady Joudah

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] Dan Hill is an expert on facial coding and sensory logic. His book, First Blush: People’s Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art examines, among other things, how long the average viewer spends looking at a master work of art. The answer is four seconds of viewing, five seconds to look at the name plate and sometimes an additional second to look back at the art itself. The book is the largest study ever done in eye tracking in art as well as facial coding – i.e. the emotions revealed by facial muscle activity. One finding from this work is that the window of genuine response to a piece of art is within that initial four seconds. Hill says artists need to consider this and realize that reaching their viewer is akin to landing an airplane on a helicopter pad. Installation pieces tended to fare better in the study in terms of occupying people’s attention for longer. To hear more from Dan Hill and his fascinating research that has major implications for anyone creating or curating art, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. […] Dan Hill is an expert on facial coding and sensory logic. His book, First Blush: People’s Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art examines, among other things, how long the average viewer spends looking at a master work of art. The answer is four seconds of viewing, five seconds to look at the name plate and sometimes an additional second to look back at the art itself. The book is the largest study ever done in eye tracking in art as well as facial coding – i.e. the emotions revealed by facial muscle activity. One finding from this work is that the window of genuine response to a piece of art is within that initial four seconds. Hill says artists need to consider this and realize that reaching their viewer is akin to landing an airplane on a helicopter pad. Installation pieces tended to fare better in the study in terms of occupying people’s attention for longer. To hear more from Dan Hill and his fascinating research that has major implications for anyone creating or curating art, listen to the complete interview. […]