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ERIC Number: EJ1128194
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
Appreciation of Authenticity Promotes Curiosity: Implications for Object-Based Learning in Museums
Bunce, Louise
Journal of Museum Education, v41 n3 p230-239 2016
Museum professionals suppose that interacting with authentic objects promotes curiosity and engagement, but this has not been tested. In this research, children and adults visiting the Oxford University Museum of Natural History were shown a taxidermied rabbit or rabbit skeleton. They were asked "Is it real?," "Why?" and were given the opportunity to ask a question about it to measure their curiosity and engagement. As predicted, visitors who perceived the rabbits as authentic were more likely to ask a question than those who judged them as inauthentic. Perceived authenticity also promoted more why questions. In general, these findings became more robust with increasing age. However, approximately 25% of visitors did not perceive the rabbits as authentic. This study thus supports the assumption that authentic objects are associated with increased curiosity and engagement but museum professionals need to ensure that visitors know when they are interacting with the real thing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A