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Olfaction and Exhibition: Assessing the Impact of Scent in Museums on Exhibit Engagement, Learning and Empathy

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
The aim of this investigation is to analyze the effects of incorporating scent-based elements in ethnographic exhibits. Specifically, it attempts to identify changes in patron response to a visual display, with and without a scent element. Groups of patrons were observed throughout their engagement with the exhibit, and interviewed post-engagement to generate data on information retention, opinion on content and empathetic response in relation to the exhibit. Findings suggest that the inclusion of scent did increase memorization of the limited facts reinforced through the scent element. However, there was no detectable difference between the groups on measures of overall comprehension of the subject matter, nor their empathetic responses toward the exhibited culture. The results of the study are discussed as a measure of the observer—observed dichotomy, and the argument is made that multisensory representation in the museum can aid in the facilitation of cross-cultural education.
Title: Olfaction and Exhibition: Assessing the Impact of Scent in Museums on Exhibit Engagement, Learning and Empathy.
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Name(s): Mills, Cory C., author
Harris, Michael S., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of Anthropology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 174 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The aim of this investigation is to analyze the effects of incorporating scent-based elements in ethnographic exhibits. Specifically, it attempts to identify changes in patron response to a visual display, with and without a scent element. Groups of patrons were observed throughout their engagement with the exhibit, and interviewed post-engagement to generate data on information retention, opinion on content and empathetic response in relation to the exhibit. Findings suggest that the inclusion of scent did increase memorization of the limited facts reinforced through the scent element. However, there was no detectable difference between the groups on measures of overall comprehension of the subject matter, nor their empathetic responses toward the exhibited culture. The results of the study are discussed as a measure of the observer—observed dichotomy, and the argument is made that multisensory representation in the museum can aid in the facilitation of cross-cultural education.
Identifier: FA00004821 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Museums--Social aspects.
Museums--Psychological aspects.
Smell--Social aspects.
Museums--Curatorship.
Museums--Technological innovations.
Museum exhibits--Psychological aspects.
Museum exhibits--Physiological aspects.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004821
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004821
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.