Exhibits are designed and curated by people. They are meant to stimulate and evoke curiosity, challenge, and narratives in visitors.
The impact of exhibits on visitors has been studied in several different strands. This article summarizes the latest research on how exhibits impact visitors’ emotions, engagement, and satisfaction.
The human mind is a complex and dynamic organ that processes information at a rate beyond our ability to keep up. Consequently, much of our mental activity occurs below conscious awareness.
Psychology is a branch of science that studies this phenomenon. Psychologists aim to understand the complexities of the human mind and apply this understanding to solve real-world problems.
When capturing visitors’ attention, it’s no secret that the best way to do that is through design. Using the right mix of attention-grabbing graphics and informational signage can help maximize the impact of your exhibits.
One of the most intriguing aspects of museum exhibits like Infinity Exhibits, for instance, is that they provide visitors with a wealth of information, like caemarketing.com do in promoting companies. This is made possible by the psychology of curiosity.
Curiosity is a fundamental human drive and can be activated in response to ambiguous, complex, or conflicting stimuli. Negative emotional experiences can also trigger it.
People are better at learning the answer to a trivia question if they anticipate gaining knowledge about future favorable outcomes 5, 18, 19, 29.
The underlying mechanisms of curiosity are still poorly understood. We propose the Prediction, Appraisal, Curiosity, and Exploration (PACE) framework to address this gap.
Memories are powerful and personal, whether the last time you saw your mother or the day that John Kennedy was assassinated. Visitors explored the power of memory in this area of the museum through a variety of interactive exhibits.
This museum area was full of things to test your memory and learn about the human brain. For example, an interactive display about nerve cells communicating with each other and a sheep’s brain dissection revealed intricate structures deep within the human brain.
Intuitions, hunches, and feelings are often described as “gut feelings.” They help you make decisions without thinking. They also allow you to find a solution to a problem quickly.
In this exhibit, you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with intuition and memory. You’ll be able to test your ability to respond quickly in three different scenarios.
These processes are complex higher-order cognitive constructs that must be studied thoroughly. Further research is needed to determine the performance limits of intuitive and insight functions and the underlying neuropsychological mechanisms.
Imagination is the ability to create mental scenes, objects, and events that do not exist or have happened in the past. It is a valuable tool for acquiring experience and knowledge, engaging with the arts, solving problems, and more.
Unlike perception, which is based on external sensory information obtained through the senses, imagination is internal and generated by memories and feelings. In addition, it is not dependent on the direct input of the reasons (Gendler 2003).
Much of the contemporary discussion of imagination revolves around its role in various human understanding and activity domains. These include the psychology of pretense, the knowledge of other minds, characterizing psychopathology, engaging with the arts, thinking creatively, acquiring knowledge about possibilities, and interpreting figurative language.
The Impact of Color on Exhibit Design
Color plays a critical role in the design of an exhibit, creating an atmosphere and helping visitors to interact with the content. Colors can influence an emotional response, evoke memories or even create a sense of urgency. Studies have shown that colors have a direct impact both on how we perceive and on how much time we spend interacting with exhibits.
Each color evokes its own mood, which determines our behavioral responses to it. For example, red is often associated with danger or urgency, while green may be seen as calmer and more calming. Similarly, blue’s connotations are usually serenity and evenness while yellow induces playfulness and optimism. In exhibit design, colors should be used to activate emotions that serve to enhance the visitor’s experience of the content presented in the exhibition space.
Harmonious combinations of colors based on principles such as complimentary tones or analogous shades provide balance in an exhibition space, ensuring an aesthetic flow between different objects in the space and enhancing transitions between them; thus making it easier for visitors to comprehend and understand what they see around them without any visual distractions. Color should also be used to draw attention to essential information resulting in increased learning outcomes while discouraging energy-based reactions (such as distraction).
The Role of Lighting in Exhibits
Lighting is a key element of exhibit design as it can drastically alter the tone, atmosphere, and even cultural associations of an exhibit. Proper lighting techniques can be used to create feelings of warmth, relaxation, or excitement, and can leverage certain impressions or emotions to engage viewers and evoke a desired response.
The control over light creates a curated experience designed specifically for each exhibit’s content or subject matter — pushing viewers to focus on particular objects rather than letting their eyes wander aimlessly around the space. Additionally, different types of beam patterns may be employed based on the size, shape, orientation, and height of an object within an exhibition space in order to help highlight its aesthetic qualities.
When considering the role of lighting within an exhibit experience it is important to identify how best it can highlight any unique features that captivate visitors while creating a more pleasant environment overall conducive to learning and exploration.
The psychological impact of good exhibit design is noteworthy; a successful exhibit can make people feel engaged and informed about whatever topic is being presented. Exhibits can also inspire further exploration by providing viewers with avenues for further engagement when they leave the display area.
From relaxation to education, exhibits have a wide range of effects on psychology — both short-term (during our viewing time) and beyond (how it impacts our behavior). By understanding these psychological effects of exhibits, designers are able to create greater visitor experiences with their work.