Observation of Social Behavior in the national Gallery of Art

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Observation of Social Behavior in the National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art (NGA) houses some of the most prolific art in the world. Around four million people visit the NGA each year to gaze upon the collection of close to 130,000 items on display making it the sixth most popular art museum in the world (Lowe, 2013). The amount of foot traffic experienced by the museum provides the ideal setting to observe people as they move about the museum. The purpose of this paper is to observe human behavior in a social setting. A location in the west building of the NGA was selected for its vantage point to observe people as they transitioned through the museum. People were studied for a time of twenty-five minutes and observations were conducted to examine their demeanor, reactions, and interactions with other individuals. The twenty-five minute observation time established the behavior of individuals at the NGA. The second part of this observation was to break a social norm and observe the reaction of people when the norm was violated. This paper is a detailed account of observations made at the NGA and examines these interaction using sociological concepts.
The NGA has three distinct areas, the west building, the east building, and the sculpture garden. The west building gallery 83 was used to observe people for twenty-five minutes. This particular gallery was used because of the artwork it contained. The room contains twenty one pieces by artist such…