KQED is a public broadcaster working to increase its audienceâ€™s engagement with art. One way they go about this is by using videos in which artists describe their artistic process and daily lives. The videos are constructed in a particular way with a particular intention. Do they work?
We partnered with the Exploratorium, a museum in San Francisco, to find out. First, we developed a survey instrument to measure engagement as KQED defined it. Then, we conducted a randomized control trial (RCT) on the floor of the museum.
We randomly selected which patrons viewed a video about an artist with work in the museum, and those who did not. Then we surveyed the patrons as they left the museum.
What we found was that a small amount of well-timed information can change the way people think and feel about art.
What we also demonstrated is that an informative RCT can be implemented quickly, inexpensively, and in a real-world setting.