Connecting with new audiences: exploring the impact of mobile communication devices on the experiences of young adults in museums

Hughes, Karen, and Moscardo, Gianna (2017) Connecting with new audiences: exploring the impact of mobile communication devices on the experiences of young adults in museums. Visitor Studies, 20 (1). pp. 33-55.

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Abstract

Museums worldwide have embraced digital technology and social media in their exhibitions and marketing, yet many discourage visitors' use of mobile communication devices (MCDs), claiming this detracts from the learning experience. This study was guided by mindfulness theory from social cognitive psychology which provides a framework for studying attention, engagement, and learning. It explored the museum experiences of 58 young adults under three experimental conditions— a control group who visited an exhibition with no instructions, a no-MCD group who surrendered all MCDs on entry, and a directed MCD group given guidance on how to use their MCD including taking photographs. The no-MCD group spent significantly less time in the exhibition and had the lowest scores for mindfulness and perceived learning. The directed MCD group spent significantly longer in the exhibition and at exhibits with more text and had the highest scores for mindfulness and perceived learning. This group also took more and different photographs in the exhibition than did the control group. Implications for museum design and MCD policy are outlined.

Item ID: 48798
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1934-7715
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2017 02:12
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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