During my latest tracking and timing study, I’ve noticed something. At the risk of ridiculous over-generalization, German visitors appear to spend more time in museum exhibits than American visitors. On average, I’m observing German visitors spending twice as long as Americans in exhibits of comparable size and content that I’ve conducted studies in.*
They also seem more likely to attend to, and read, every label. One couple I observed this weekend spent 10 minutes on the intro panel of an exhibit alone. And they’re not the only ones I’ve seen doing the same…
Has anyone else whose worked on both sides of the pond noticed anything similar? Do Germans simply have better attention spans than Americans? Are there other cultural expectations and practices at play? Have I just stumbled across a group of super-interested visitors?
*Note: This is a preliminary observation. My sample size is currently half of the study’s objective, so my data is incomplete.