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 …show more content…

The age of individuals traveling through the room varied greatly from infants to senior adults. The ethnicity of individuals covered a broad spectrum including, Causation, Asian, African, Indian, and Hispanic. Individuals moved around the room mainly in a clockwise manner. Over the duration of the observation the audible volume in the room never went above a low speaking voice with the exception of a small baby who started to cry. The parent of the infant was met with disapproving looks by the younger individuals in the room and light smiles by an elderly couple. The average expression was pensive in nature with little emotion expressed. People shuffled from painting to painting waiting for their turn to closely look at the artwork. There was little to no interaction between people. Several small groups of individuals would occasionally talk with one another in a low voice. Individual reactions to the artwork were similar. Individuals generally lacked overtly reactive facial expressions. Eye contact with other individuals was generally avoided unless the individuals were in group together. Personal space was generally respected with several exceptions. The second observation involved breaking the normative behavior and observing the reaction of individuals when this behavior was broken. The lack of personal interaction between museum guests and the general flow of traffic in the

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