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ERIC Number: ED415362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 119
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Attention Model for Museum Exhibits.
Lightner, John W.
A qualitative study determined which factors in the museum exhibit environment or within the museum visitor may influence the visitor to attend an exhibit. Observations and interviews were conducted of 14 groups that visited a Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. An inductive or grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data. Interest and relevance were motivational prerequisites for attention and influenced the visitor to attend the exhibit. The interest and relevance factors within the visitor could be categorized as enduring personal interest, curiosity, and connections to personal history. Group influence and the interesting nature of the exhibit, both external to the visitor, also influenced visitor attention. These findings provided some evidence to support the hypothesis that the attention model for museum exhibits is a plausible explanation about how visitors pay attention in a museum. The attention model was a viable replacement for the "hook" in the Csikszentmihalyi and Hermanson model. It was able to describe the visits of specialized groups and the visits of a more general family/social group. People visiting the locomotive exhibit did not attend in the same way but the model had the flexibility and power to describe motivation to attention in each case. (Appendixes contain 37 references, 10 notes, and instruments.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A