Understanding Appreciation According to Experts, Levels, and Functions

Appreciation is – When we do something, be it work or just something we like, we are likely to get two reactions from the people around us. The first reaction is evaluation, where someone will give an assessment and then tell you to fix some things that are considered lacking.

Usually, evaluation is related to work results, which means we have to work harder than before to fix what is lacking or wrong. Most employees are usually a bit annoyed with this evaluation because it will make them spend extra time in the office to improve the existing work.

However, of course evaluation is a very useful thing, because at least we know where our weaknesses are and can fix them so that the same mistakes don’t happen again next time.

The second reaction besides evaluation is appreciation. Well, if this reaction is the opposite reaction of evaluation. If in the evaluation, we are asked to improve some work that is considered not good, then appreciation is given if the work we do gives satisfactory results .

Usually, this appreciation is accompanied by sky-high praise, which makes us feel happy and highly appreciated for all the efforts we have made in the past.

So, when you get appreciation for the work you’ve done, it’s really fun, especially if it’s a difficult job to do. The more difficult the level of the job, the happier it will be when someone appreciates it. It feels like our hard work pays off because it is recognized by others, especially if the recognition comes from superiors.

When it comes to appreciation, people usually equate it with praise. When in fact, appreciation and praise are completely different, you know! Conversely, praise is actually a form of appreciation itself, but this form of appreciation is not just praise.

Apart from giving praise, there are many other ways you can appreciate someone’s work. However, before you appreciate someone’s work, you must first know what appreciation is. Let’s find out together!

Definition of Appreciation

Appreciation is just a word, but this simple word has a lot of meaning and understanding. The word “Appreciation” itself comes from the Latin word Apreciatio which means to appreciate.

The word apreciatio in Latin is then absorbed in English and becomes ” Apreciation ” and changes to “Apreciation” when translated into Indonesian. Even though the words in each language experience slight changes, the words above still have the same meaning, namely respect or appreciation.

So, in language, appreciation is a positive assessment that someone gives to other people or it could be something he does. In addition to work, appreciation is also attached to all things related to works of art, literature, or other works.

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, the word “Appreciation” has two meanings. The first meaning, appreciation is one’s awareness of the value of art. While the second understanding, appreciation is appreciation for something, it can be goods, work, or someone.

Definition of Appreciation According to Experts

Not only from the Big Indonesian Dictionary, some experts also have their own explanations about the meaning of this appreciation. The following is the meaning of appreciation according to experts who are also philosophers from various countries.

John Dewey

According to an American philosopher named John Dewey, appreciation is enjoying an experience of something.

Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead who was a mathematician and philosopher from England had a different opinion about appreciation. According to Alfred North Whitehead, appreciation is the process of appreciating something that is done by someone in an activity to get something, and participate in it with an overall assessment.

Goldfrey Harold Hardy

Meanwhile, according to a leading mathematician from England, Godfrey Harold Hardy or GH Hardy, appreciation is someone who appreciates or appreciates something. In contrast to his two colleagues, GH Hardy places more emphasis on someone who does the appreciation rather than the meaning of the appreciation itself.

From the views of the three experts above, we can conclude that appreciation is the giving of an assessment or appreciation of something, be it an item in the form of a work of art, or work that has been done by someone. This award is given to express the satisfaction, pleasure, and amazement that we feel about something.

Levels in Appreciation

When asked about the meaning of appreciation, most people will immediately equate it with praise. However, the truth is that praise is a form of appreciation that we can express to show that we are very satisfied with the work or work of other people.

In the world of work, for example, praise is not the only form of appreciation. More than that, employees who have good work results also sometimes get additional incentives or even a promotion which means they will also get a bigger salary too. Besides the form, appreciation also consists of several levels as explained below!

Sympathetic Level

The sympathetic level is the level of appreciation that ordinary people have. They usually judge based on their own tastes. They will say it is good if the work of art or work is according to their taste and will say it is bad if the work of art does not match their expectations or tastes.

Empathy Level

The Empathy level is the level of appreciation that involves feelings or thoughts. Usually, art curators have an empathic level of appreciation where they can not only say which work is “good” or “bad”.

More than that, these people also had a sensitive feeling as if he was in the situation that was in the work of art. They can know the depth of meaning of a work of art just by looking at it. This level is only owned by experienced people or those who do have talent in art.

Criticism Rate

Higher than the empathic level, the critical appreciation level is usually owned by highly experienced art critics. Eits, just because they are art critics, doesn’t mean they will criticize every work of art they see, Matobers.

Appreciation of criticism is usually not only in the form of praise, but also accompanied by explanations, descriptions, analysis, and complete conclusions about the work of art. To convey this, an art critic will first observe a work of art before commenting.

The Function of Giving Appreciation

So far, we only know that by giving appreciation, we will make other people feel happy. This is indeed true, because by giving appreciation to someone’s work or work, it will make them feel very happy and feel that their hard work has been greatly appreciated.

However, the function of appreciation is not just to make other people feel good. More than that, appreciation also has several functions, what are the functions?

1. Fostering Appreciation for a Work

Those who are unfamiliar with the world of art, be it fine art or painting, sometimes cannot tell which works of art are expensive and which are cheap. They couldn’t even tell which were the legendary paintings by well-known painters and which were from roadside painters. Only because the paintings were displayed on the walls of the museum made them understand that the paintings were valuable.

The evaluation of ordinary people also usually only mentions that a painting is good based on their taste and rarely appreciates the message or meaning behind every color stroke in the painting.

However, if you are able to appreciate a work of art, that means you have started to appreciate a work. You can begin to discover the hidden meanings of these works that the artists who made them are trying to convey.

Even if your skills haven’t reached that point, at least, you won’t easily pass judgment when the work doesn’t suit your taste. That way, you will not underestimate a work of art that has been made by an artist.

2. Improving Ability to Observe a Work

Experience is the best teacher. Likewise, when we often spend time observing and appreciating a work of art, it means that we are also gaining experience and learning. Over time, we laypeople will eventually learn to observe and analyze a work.

Indeed, our analysis will not be as good as that of art critics, but with the habit of appreciating art will improve our ability to evaluate and analyze a work of art.

3. Learn to understand the meaning conveyed in a work

Each work must have a message or meaning that the author wants to convey. Sometimes these messages cannot be read easily, especially by those who are new to the art world. However, by frequently observing and appreciating a work of art, in time we will also be able to grasp the hidden meaning and message behind a work of art.

Of course, to be able to grasp the meaning, message, or story of a work of art will take a long time. However, if you get used to it, even those of you who are lay and don’t have an educational background from art can definitely do it.

4. Increase Knowledge

What we learn today, no matter how small and trivial it is, will always be useful. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but there will be a time when you’ll be grateful that you learned that stuff. When you learn to appreciate a work of art, you are also unknowingly increasing your knowledge in that field.

This can happen because to be able to appreciate a work of art, you must first observe, and find information related to the work and all the things you do, maybe it will be useful someday.

After all, we don’t know where the future will take us. Today, you diligently study and analyze works of art in museums or exhibitions. In the next few years, who knows you will work in a museum and need all the knowledge and knowledge that you learned today.

Activities in Appreciating Works of Art

Not only has functions and stages, there are several activities in appreciating a work of art. Then, what kind of activity is meant?

1. Perception

Perception is the basic activity in introducing works of art to the general public. Usually the target of this activity is people who are unfamiliar with certain arts. One example is by introducing Indonesian traditional music performances.

If you like watching YouTube, you may have seen Indonesian people trying to introduce Indonesian traditional culture and music to citizens of the world abroad. So, the activities carried out by the Indonesians can be called perception activities, namely introducing works of art to many people.

By carrying out activities like this, Indonesian names will become more popular in the eyes of foreigners, and make them interested in coming to visit.

2. Knowledge

The second activity in art appreciation is knowledge. Everything we do, there is knowledge. Want to cook delicious, there is knowledge. Want to drive, there is also knowledge, as well as art. Science or knowledge is the most basic thing that you have to learn if you want to appreciate works of art. For example, you want to appreciate abstract paintings.

People who are new to art or have never seen an abstract painting in their life, might not understand where the interest in this painting lies. Not a few will also consider abstract painting to be the same as kindergarten children’s doodles.

To find out, you also have to first learn all the knowledge related to abstract painting. From that knowledge, you can only understand the meaning of the painting and what message the artist wanted to convey.

After all, how are you going to appreciate a work well, if you are completely blind in that field?

3. Analysis

If you already know, then have knowledge about art, the next activity is analysis. Analysis activity is an activity where we try to describe a work that we see. Trying to describe the meaning and message hidden behind a work of art.

Of course, this analysis process can only be done after you learn about the work. Everyone has a different time to understand a work. In fact, it is not uncommon for a well-known art critic to stand in front of a work of art for a long time to examine it before describing it.

4. Assessment

The last appreciation activity is an assessment of the works of art that we observe. Of course this assessment should not be done haphazardly, and only say “Good” or “Bad”.

Assessment activities can be carried out after we have passed the perception, knowledge, and analysis phases. In addition, the assessment must also be carried out objectively. Don’t just because the painter is your idol artist, then work that you don’t think is good, but instead you still say it’s good.


Appreciating something, be it the work of other people or works of art, at first glance, seems easy to do. All you have to do is say “Good” and then leave, what’s the problem? However, appreciation is not just “good” or “bad”.

You should know, an artist does all his work wholeheartedly. It’s not uncommon for them to take days to make everything perfect before finally being showcased to the world. Looking at a work of art at a glance, then commenting this-that is clearly impolite.

After all, someone who really appreciates work will mention various things that make a work look attractive to him. It’s not uncommon for them to give constructive criticism if they feel something is missing. To get all of that, we must observe the work carefully and not just glance.