Visitor attention in exhibitions: the impact of exhibit objects’ ordinal position, relative size, and proximity to larger objects
Environment and Behavior
343 - 370
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The main aim of the present study was to explore the impact of three stimulus-related variables—that is, ordinal position of viewing, relative size of exhibit objects, and proximity to larger sized objects—on visitor attention and interest in exhibitions. A field experiment that utilized timing and tracking through unobtrusive observation, as well as a questionnaire, was conducted with 120 participants in one control and three experimental conditions. The results suggest that (a) visitor attention declines across ordinal position, being interrupted in the experimental conditions by the presence of a larger object; (b) larger exhibit objects attract and hold more attention than smaller ones, especially those adjacent to (and appear before rather than after) the larger object; and (c) while larger objects attract more attention on an individual comparison, they seem to have a suppressing effect on the overall level of attention to the exhibition compared with the control condition.
KeywordsExhibit object salience
Exhibit object size