The Electronic imaging community has devoted a lot of effort to the development of technologies that can predict the
visual quality of images and videos, as a basis for the delivery of optimal visual quality to the user. These systems have
been based for the most part on a visibility-centric approach, assuming the more artifacts are visible, the higher is the
annoyance they provoke, the lower the visual quality. Despite the remarkable results achieved with this approach,
recently a number of studies suggested that the visibility-centric approach to visual quality might have limitations, and
that other factors might influence the overall quality impression of an image or video, depending on cognitive and
affective mechanisms that work on top of perception. In particular, interest in the visual content, engagement and context of usage have been found to impact on the overall quality impression of the image/video. In this paper, we review these studies and explore the impact that affective and cognitive processes have on the visual quality. In addition, as a case study, we present the results of an experiment investigating on the impact of aesthetic appeal on visual quality, and we show that users tend to be more demanding in terms of visual quality judging beautiful images.