Over the past several weeks we have been sharing our preliminary results from our recent research into childhood museum memories and how they might affect adult perceptions of museums. We fielded an excellent question that essentially asked, “Are adults who responded to a history-based museum more likely to remember visiting a history-based museum as children than other museum respondents?”
To find out, we decided we wanted to go back and re-code by genre. That is, all respondents were asked to take our survey by some museum. We had already pre-sorted results so that respondents could be segmented into four main genres: those who responded to an art museum, history-based museum, children’s museum, or science center. (To find out more about the initial survey scope, click here. To find out more about our methodology on coding memories, click here.)
But there was a big problem with simply coding by museum type in this way. The samples are not the same. That is, respondents from art museums and history-based museums tend to be older, meaning memories from science centers and children’s museums might be under-represented. We needed to keep the samples consistent, so we ONLY pulled the memories of moms in their 30s and 40s, and coded them. This segment was also large enough to code across all four museum genres.
So what did we learn? The short answer is yes. There is a correlation.
- History-based museum moms were 1.4x to 2.7 x more likely to have a history-based museum memory than moms from the other genres
- Art museum moms were 1.7x to 2.3x more likely to remember an art museum
- Science center moms were 1.5x more likely to remember a science museum
Yet when it came to children’s museums it wasn’t true. That is, moms from children’s museums were not any more likely to remember children’s museums. (This doesn’t totally surprise us, however, as relatively few respondents remember children’s museums in the first place. See our initial post on memories, and scroll down to “initial findings” to find out why.) But children’s museum moms were actually the most likely to remember science center, being 1.3x more likely than science center moms (and over 2x more likely than history-based and art museum moms).
So yes. There appears to overall be a correlation between the type of museum remembered in an early childhood museum memory, and the type of museum an adult engages with enough to be on an e-mail list and respond to a survey for. Which means that creating memorable museum experiences for children is important for museums of all types!
What do you think? What do you remember from your childhood museum experiences? To share, simply click on "comments" below. (If you are reading this from your e-mail subscription to the blog, please go to http://reachadvisors.typepad.com to add a comment.)