In the white cube: Museum context enhances the valuation and memory of art

Authors/others:Brieber, David; Nadal-Roberts, Marcos; Leder, Helmut
Abstract:Art museum attendance is rising steadily, unchallenged by online alternatives. However, the psychological value of the real museum experience remains unclear because the experience of art in the museum and other contexts has not been compared. Here we examined the appreciation and memory of an art exhibition when viewed in a museum or as a computer simulated version in the laboratory. In line with the postulates of situated cognition, we show that the experience of art relies on organizing resources present in the environment. Specifically, artworks were found more arousing, positive, interesting and liked more in the museum than in the laboratory. Moreover, participants who saw the exhibition in the museum later recalled more artworks and used spatial layout cues for retrieval. Thus, encountering real art in the museum enhances cognitive and affective processes involved in the appreciation of art and enriches information encoded in long-term memory.
Number of pages:7
Date of publication:1.2015
Journal title:Acta Psychologica
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Publication Type:Article