Date of Award:

2007

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Stephen Lehman

Abstract

The present study used an experimental design to investigate the efficacy of using short (12 words or less), prominently placed supplemental labels to increase the effectiveness of select extant labels in museum exhibits. The experimenter-developed supplemental labels were designed to leverage exogenous/bottom-up and endogenous/top-down sources of influence on selective attention. Measures of patron behavior, knowledge retention, and attitude found no significant differences between group means under control and treatment conditions. These outcomes were surprising and inconsistent with findings from similar research conducted by Hirschi and Screven. The supplemental labels in the present study might have failed to capture attention because they were not sufficiently visually stimulating, they did not sufficiently tap internal motivations, or perhaps patrons experienced innattentional blindness in regards to them.

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Psychology Commons

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