Motivational factors and the visitor experience: A comparison of three sites

Packer, Jan M. & Ballantyne, Roy R. (2002) Motivational factors and the visitor experience: A comparison of three sites. Curator: The Museum Journal, 45(3), pp. 183-198.


Museums, art galleries, botanical gardens, national parks, science centres, zoos, aquaria and historic sites are important public learning institutions. The free-choice learning offered in these settings is closely linked to visitors’ intrinsic motivation, making it important to understand the motivational factors that impact on visitors’ experiences. This paper presents questionnaire data collected from visitors to three sites: a museum, an art gallery, and an aquarium. It examines similarities and differences among the sites in relation to visitors’ expectations, perceptions of learning opportunities, engagement in motivated learning behaviours, and perceptions of the learning experience. The importance of learning to museum visitors is highlighted, and the unique opportunities and challenges of the museum in relation to other educational leisure settings discussed. It is suggested that the study of motivational factors might contribute to the development of a common theoretical foundation for interpretation in museum and other informal learning settings.

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ID Code: 219
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: This article is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher, AltaMira Press. See the journal's website for more information.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: museums, free, choice learning, informal learning, motivation, visitor studies
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > CURATORIAL AND RELATED STUDIES (210200) > Museum Studies (210204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TOURISM (150600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Educational Psychology (170103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Learning Sciences (130309)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 AltaMira Press
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:21

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