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The research question presented in this video focuses on the experiences and motivations of visitors to an art exhibition or museum. In order to establish the motivation for exhibition visits, VOLKER KIRCHBERG explains, the research team combined a variety of methodological approaches: questioning the visitors, measuring their cognitive and emotional responses, and tracking their movements through the exhibition. They found three different visitor types – corroborating earlier studies – and also realized that long-standing assumptions about the motivation of people to visit an exhibition might be wrong. In contrast to established beliefs, the contemplative visitor type who wants to see and decode the actual art is by far a minority among the attendants of an exhibition. The researchers’ realization could have a practical influence on the decisions of exhibition curators who want to increase the number of visitors.


Volker Kirchberg is Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Before this, he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, William Paterson University, in Wayne (New Jersey). His research focuses, among other topics, on theoretical issues of arts consumption and arts production, the social and economic impact of cultural institutions, and the organization of arts and culture. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Speaker Award from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence.


Leuphana University, Lüneburg

Sustainability research, cultural research, education, management and entrepreneurship: Through these four science initiatives, in course work and research, Leuphana University of Lüneburg addresses the challenges of civil society in the 21st century. The bodies responsible for these initiatives are the faculties newly established in 2010: Education , Culture , Business  and Sustainability . There are research topics spanning multiple faculties – in keeping with developments of current and future relevance – devoted to the Democracy, Digital Media and Health.   Companion to the substantive quality of the curriculum, Leuphana places particular reliance on students' responsibility, curiosity and initiative, on a broad-ranging change in perspective that questions presumably settled knowledge, and on dialogue not only among the various disciplines but between science and practice. The course of study follows a degree model unique to the German higher-education landscape, a model  that has already received multiple awards. With its launch of the Digital School in 2013, Leuphana also entered the age of the online universities, where it is setting new standards in social learning.   For its development as a humanistic, action-oriented  and sustainable  university, in 2007 Leuphana received an award from the business community's innovation agency for the German science system, the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, in its competition devoted to 'Excellence Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Universities', and in 2010 from the Mercator Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation for the nationwide competition on 'The Future of Instruction'.   To strengthen Lüneburg as a location for research and business, scientists and the business community are working side by side on visionary projects under unique conditions, as part of the EU-sponsored regional development project for Innovation Incubators. A total of nearly EUR 100 million is flowing into regional economic development. In more than 50 projects, there are some 300 firms in the former Lüneburg district working with teams of researchers on behalf of a broad range of new research and infrastructure projects and measures in education and training. The Incubator places the emphasis on the topics of Digital Media, Health and Sustainable Energy. ( Source )  
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Original publication

The Museum Experience: Mapping the Experience of Fine Art

Kirchberg Volker and Tröndle Martin
Curator: The Museum Journal
Published in 2015

An Integrative and Comprehensive Methodology for Studying Aesthetic Experience in the Field: Merging Movement Tracking, Physiology, and Psychological Data

Kirchberg Volker, Tröndle Martin, Greenwood Steven and Tschacher Wolfgang
Environment and Behavior
Published in 2014

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