How can museums capture visitors' attention? And how can their attention be sustained? In this important volume, leading visitor researcher and educational psychologist Stephen Bitgood proposes a model-the attention-value model-that will help museum practitioners create more effective museum environments. A major advance beyond earlier efforts, the attention-value model shows how both personal and exhibit design variables influence the capture, focus, and engagement of attention. Bitgood also offers extensive background in the visitor attention literature, details of his extensive testing of the attention-value tool, and guidelines for its application. Balancing theory, research, and practical application, Attention and Value is a must-read for exhibition developers at all levels-from students to seasoned practitioners.
Stephen Bitgood, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, USA. After several years of work in experimental, clinical, and educational psychology, he began studying visitors in museums, parks, and zoos in 1984. He has travelled extensively conducting research with visitors, evaluating exhibitions, conducting workshops for professionals, and presenting conference papers. His work has focused on applying a scientific, psychological approach to the study of visitors and his wide-ranging publications in visitor studies include Social Design in Museums: The Psychology of Visitor Studies (MuseumsEtc, 2011), a chapter in the Handbook of Environmental Psychology (Bechtel & Churchman, 2002), articles in Visitor Studies, Visitor Studies Today, Curator, Journal of Interpretation Research, and Journal of Museum Education, among many others.