6 Citations (Scopus)


Approaches to the subject of memory vary considerably, according to discipline. Museologists have either focused upon the role of the museum as a memory bank, or examined memories of museum visits in relation to identity and motivations. Archeologists have investigated the use of memory to regulate community experience, whilst psychologists have developed experimental methods to assess the quantity and quality of information encoded and retrieved. Until now, few studies have attempted to draw evidence from across these fields to understand how different types of exhibits and sensory experiences contribute to individual memory formation. We therefore conducted controlled experiments with 64 adults to measure memory differences when archeological material was presented in three distinct formats (display case, virtual manipulation, and object handling). The study demonstrated greater recognition and recall when objects were handled, suggesting multisensory experiences improve memory for both the artifacts themselves and their associated “stories.” It indicated that descriptive label information is far more striking than object names or dates, and that artifacts depicting living creatures were recalled more easily than other objects. The most marked differences occurred in more challenging memory tasks, where immersive encoding and participant expertise acted independently to improve the quality of memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalVisitor Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2020


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