Exploring the awe-some: Mobile eye-tracking insights into awe in a science museum

Sheila Krogh-Jespersen*, Kimberly A. Quinn, William L.D. Krenzer, Christine Nguyen, Jana Greenslit, C. Aaron Price

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Informal learning environments provide the opportunity to study guests’ experiences as they engage with exhibits specifically designed to invoke the emotional experience of awe. The current paper presents insight gained by using both traditional survey measures and innovative mobile eye-tracking technology to examine guests’ experiences of awe in a science museum. We present results for guests’ visual attention in two exhibit spaces, one chosen for its potential to evoke positive awe and one for negative awe, and examine associations between visual attention and survey responses with regard to different facets of awe. In this exploratory study, we find relationships between how guests attend to features within an exhibit space (e.g., signage) and their feelings of awe. We discuss implications of using both methods concurrently to shed new light on exhibit design, and more generally for working in transdisciplinary multimethod teams to move scientific knowledge and application forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0239204
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number9 September
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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