Gaining Visitor Consent for Research: Testing the Posted-Sign Method

Date: 
Monday, July 1, 2002
Resource Type:
Research Case Study | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Audience: 
Adults | General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Discipline: 
Education and learning science
Organization:
Exploratorium
Description: 

One method for studying visitors in museums is to audiotape their conversations while videotaping their behavior. Many researchers inform visitors of the recordings by posting signs in the areas under scrutiny. This study tests the assumptions underlying that method—that visitors notice, read, and understand such signs. Signs were posted at the entrance to an Exploratorium exhibit which was being audio- and videotaped. Researchers interviewed 213 adult visitors as they exited the exhibit. The interviews revealed that 75 percent of the visitors had read and understood the sign. Of the 52 visitors who had not, 8 reported that they felt bothered to some degree by the recordings being made. The implications of these results are discussed.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
ISE/AISL
Award Number: 
0087844
Funding Amount: 
1284590
Citation
ISSN:
0011-3069
Publication Name: 
Curator: The Museum Journal
Volume: 
45
Number: 
3
Page Number: 
232

Associated Projects

Team Members

Josh GutwillAuthor

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