Gaining Visitor Consent for Research II: Improving the Posted-Sign Method
One method for studying visitors in museums is to audiotape their conversations while videotaping their behavior. Many researchers inform visitors of such recordings by posting signs in the areas under scrutiny. An earlier study tested the assumption that visitors notice, read and understand posted signs (Gutwill, 2003). Interviews revealed that 75 percent of visitors leaving a recording area had read and understood the signs. This article describes our attempt at increasing this percentage by placing additional signs on the exhibit elements being used, as well as on the camera itself. Interviews of 200 adult visitors found that 99 percent of them knew they had been recorded. We provide details of the improved method for posting signs to inform visitors of recordings.