Learning ethics from museum exhibitions: Possible or impossible?

Ching Yuan Huang, Lichun Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This research was undertaken to explore audience members learning ethics from two national museum exhibitions: The Return of Sherlock Holmes (RSH) and Human Body Exploration (HBE) in Taiwan. Based on literature review of ethics for museums, there are four dimensions related to exhibition ethics: environment, marketing, education, and services. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to examine the relationships within the dimensions of environment, marketing, education, and services of exhibition ethics and to understand the differences in exhibition ethics between RSH and HBE. The total number of valid questionnaires was 191 for RSH and 152 for HBE. The research method analysis of variance was applied to examine whether there were significant differences between individual's basic data and four different dimensions of exhibition ethics in museums. As survey data revealed, exhibition ethics had significant relationships with four dimensions (serviceability, education, environment, and marketing) and significant differences to the demographic variable, such as age. We suggest that exhibition agents should emphasize exhibition contents more than relative commodities, thereby possibly attracting audiences to visit the museum exhibitions. In addition, the exhibitions that were related to sensible issues should be divided into different levels regulated in terms of audience age and the degree to which parents, teachers, or narrators at the museum could negatively influence a younger visitor's perception of an exhibition and thereby museums. Finally, during busy periods, the museums should control visitor numbers to maintain visiting quality. Therefore, the museums should be able to create added value to attract more audience members to visit the exhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-386
Number of pages20
JournalEthics and Behavior
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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