Research Archives

Research memos, reports, and monographs are distributed in hard-copy format to R+D member museums. If you have a particular interest in one of the subjects covered, please contact us for more information.

A complete index to the memos and reports is provided below, and is updated quarterly.

Year 3:

  • 3:3 –  Museum Transformation: A Case Study with Outcomes
  • 3:2 – The Death of Expertise
  • 3:1 – Political Update

Year 2: 

  • 2:8 – Museums, Communities, Funding…
  • 2:7 – Young Adults! Connection, Leisure Time and Museums
  • 2:6 – Museums and Community Impact, Part 1: Perceptions of Impact
  • 2:5 – Health and Wellness: Healthy Aging and Museums
  • 2:4 – Teens, Tweens, and Families
  • 2:3 – Motivations, Part 2: The Curious Learner
  • 2:2 – 2015 Demographic Update
  • 2:1 – Effective Altruism

Year 1: 

  • 2014-2015 Year in Review
  • 1:10 – External Research Roundup
  • 1:9 – Motivations, Part 1: Foundational Inputs and Experiences
  • 1:8 – Museums and Trust
  • 1:7 – Disruptive Innovation
  • 1:6 – Public Perceptions of Museums: Museum-Goers and the Broader Public
  • 1:5 – Membership: Trends and Perceptions
  • 1:4 – Perceptions of STEM vs. Arts and Humanities
  • 1:3 – A Case for Objects: Original Objects and Their Role in Creating Meaning
  • 1:2 – Annual Demographic Update
  • 1:1 – Impact-Based Philanthropy

Research Index (to date)

Art and Art Museums

arts and humanities, perceived benefits, Memo 1:4, pg 7-8

interest, public in art, Report 1:9, pg 4 – 5

usefulness, perceptions of art museums, Report 9, pg 5 – 6

Audience Segmentation

See Population Segmentation

Authenticity

See Objects

Case for Museums/Impact

articulation of museum value and differentiating factors, effect of regular attendance visits on, Report 1:6, pg 11

broader social value or impact of museums, percentage of museum members who articulate, Memo 1:1, pg 4

children, value of serving, Memo 1:2, pg 5

curation, value of, Memo 1:8, 6-7

Impact

as articulated by museum-goers, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 29

individual outcomes, Report 1:6, pg 10

museums and opening minds, Report 1:3, pg 20-22

museum outcomes, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 18-19, 28-29

lifelong brain health, opportunities for museums, Memo 2:5, pg 6-7

museums as unworthy of charitable gifts, perception among members, Memo 1:1, pg 5

Perceived Impact by Museum-Goers, Community 

for individuals, Report 2:6, pg 4-9

learning, as a community endeavor, Report 2:6, pg 7-8

learning opportunities, Report 2:6, pg 4-7

quality of life, Report 2:6, pg 4-5

community identity and cohesion, Report 2:6, pg 10-14

community gathering spaces, museums as, Report 2:6, pg 11-13

broader public perceptions, Report 2:6, pg 11

perceptions of museums bringing community together

by museum type, Report 2:6, pg 13

by museum size, Report 2:6, pg 13

by museum location, Report 2:6, pg 13

museum-goer perceptions, Report 2:6, pg 11-12

good community gathering spaces, museums, Report 2:6,pg 12

could be community gathering spaces, museums, Report 2:6, pg 12

shouldn’t be community gathering spaces, museums, Report 2:6,pg 12

sense of place, example, Report 2:6, pg 10

community progress, Report 2:6, pg 15

economic impact, Report 2:6, pg 16

social contract, Report 2:6, pg 17

threats, Report 2:6, pg 17

imagine no museums, museum-goers vs broader population, Report 2:6, pg 6

potential to fill perceived formal education gaps, Memo 1:4, pg 11-12

purveyors of facts, Memo 1:8, pg 3-5

usefulness of museums by topic, general public, Report 1:9, pg 5-6

Childhood

See Population Segmentation

Content:  Art, History, STEM disciplines 

arts and humanities, perceived benefits, Memo 1:4, pg 7-8

comparative value of STEM and arts and humanities reported by museum-goers, Memo 1:4, pg 9

comparative value of STEM and arts and humanities reported by the general public, Memo 1:4,  pg 9

STEM and arts and humanities supporting each other, Memo 1:4, pg 9-10

STEM, perceived benefits, Memo 1:4, pg 5-6

STEM, preferential language in the public conversation, Memo 1:4, pg 2

STEM vs. arts and humanities, graduation and employment, Memo 1:4, pg 3

STEM vs. arts and humanities, public funding, Memo 1:4, pg 2

Curious Learners

See Population Segmentation

Demographics

Museum Goers

age by institution type, Memo 2:2, pg 2

college degree attainment, Memo 2:2, pg 3

core museum visitor, definition, Memo 2:2, pg 2

ethnicity, Memo 2:2, pg 4

one adult households, Memo 2:2, pg 3

single parent households, Memo 2:2, pg 3

U.S.

aging of the U.S. population, Memo 1:2, pg 7

college degree attainment, Memo 2:2, pg 3

income trends, Memo 2:2, pg 6-7

generational shifts, Memo 2:2, pg 6-7

implications for museums, Memo 2:2, pg 6-7

income inequality, Memo 2:2, pg 6

race and ethnicity, Memo 2:2, pg 7

life span projections for someone turning 65, Memo 2:5, pg 2

one adult households, Memo 2:2, pg 3

single parent households, Memo 2:2, pg 3

teen demographic overview, Memo 2:4, pg 2

U.S. Census Bureau website tips, Memo 2:2, pg 8

U.S. fertility rates decrease, by ethnicity, Memo 1:2, pg 6

U.S. fertility rates decrease, reasons, Memo 1:2, pg 6

U.S. population growth and projections, by age segment, Memo 2:2, pg 5

Health and Wellness

advice for staying healthy longer, National Institute on Aging at the NIH, Memo 2:5, pg 2-3

boredom, health consequences, Memo 2:5, pg 6

Brain Health

adding new activities in retirement, lack of, Memo 2:5, pg 6

brain terms, glossary, Memo 2:5, pg 4

cognitive reserve, Memo 2:5, pg 3-4

learning new things, importance for growing cognitive reserve, Memo 2:5, pg 4

lifelong brain health, opportunities for museums, Memo 2:5, pg 6-7

neuroplasticity, Memo 2:5, pg 3-4

perceptions about activities for keeping the mind in shape

museum-goers, Memo 2:5, pg 6

 broader public, Memo 2:5, pg 6-7

volunteering, health consequences, Memo 2:5, pg 6-7

History and History Museums

arts and humanities, perceived benefits, Memo 1:4, pg 7-8

interest, public in history, Report 1:9, pg 4 – 5

usefulness, perceptions of history museums, Report 9, pg 5 – 6

Innovation

disruptive innovation, definition, Memo 1:7 , pg 2

disruptive innovation, examples, Memo 1:7, pg 1-3

food, way to learn about history/other cultures, Memo 1:7, pg 6-7

immersive technology, Memo 1:7, pg 9-10

Maker movement, Memo 1:7, pg 7-9

STEM informal learning alternatives to science centers, Memo 1:7, pg 5

Membership

“members” vs. “donors”, Memo 1:5, pg 2

corporate use of term “member”, Memo 1:5, pg 2-3

inclusive or exclusive terminology, Memo 1:5, pg 1, 5, 8

leading to charitable gifts, Memo 1:5, pg 6-7

life stage, membership as a charitable gift, Memo 1:1,pg 4-5

life stage, membership rates, Memo 1:5, pg 6

life stage, perceptions of membership, Memo 1:5, pg 6

membership models, existing, Memo 1:5, pg  4

membership model, research based, Memo 1:5, pg 8-9

suggestions for easy improvements by The Museum Panel, Memo 1:5, pg 9

value oriented membership, Memo 1:5, pg 5, 7

Motivations

Enjoyment

parents visiting museums for their children, Report 1:6, pg 9

percent of museum-goers who enjoy visiting museums, Report 1:6, pg 8

reasons why museum-goers visit museums if they don’t enjoy it, Report 1:6, pg 8-9

Interest

and museum visitation, general public, Report 1:9, pg 6

by stated topic, general public, Report 1:9, pg 4-5

definition, Report 1:9, pg 4

leisure time, goals of public, Report 1:9, pg 6

leisure time, museums as a place to meet goals, Report 1:9, pg 6-8

motivations and museum visitation, flow chart, Report 1:9, pg 12-13

motivations, foundational inputs, Report 1:9, pg 4

museum-going families of tweens and teens, Memo 2:4, pg 5-6

teens, museums as leisure activity, Memo 2:4, pg 7

Museum Experiences

Adult Experiences

lack of meaningful hands-on experiences, self-reported reasons, Report 1:3, pg 19

lack of meaningful science experiences, self-reported reasons, Report 1:3, pg 19

meaningful adult experiences in museums, Report 1:3, pg 8-10

meaningful museum experiences, percentage by discipline, Report 1:3, pg 18

objects, percentage of meaningful adult experiences, Report 1:3, pg 9, 18

Immersion

eating/food as immersion, Report 1:3, pg 12

empathetic immersion, Report 1:3, pg 12, 14, 20

immersive and multi-sensory experiences, Report 1:3, pg 11

museums as uni-sensory spaces, Report 1:3, pg 12

Meaning Making

co-curation vs. participation, Memo 1:8, pg 7

eating/food as immersion, Report 1:3, pg 12

empathetic immersion, Report 1:3, pg 12, 14, 20

immersive and multi-sensory experiences, Report 1:3, pg 11

impact, museums and opening minds, Report 1:3, pg 20-22

lack of meaningful hands-on experiences, self-reported reasons, Report 1:3, pg 19

lack of meaningful science experiences, self-reported reasons, Report 1:3, pg 19

meaningful adult experiences in museums, Report 1:3, pg 8-10

meaningful adult experiences, outside museums, Report 1:3, pg 10-12

meaningful museum experiences, percentage by discipline, Report 1:3, pg 18

memories, childhood museum experiences, Report 1:3, pg 5-8

museums as uni-sensory spaces, Report 1:3, pg 12

participation, impact of age on interest, Memo 1:8, pg 8

participation, museum as a peer, Memo 1:8, pg 8

personal accomplishment, importance in meaningful experiences, Report 1:3, pg 11

teens, Memo 2:4, pg 9-10

Memories

childhood museum memories, most formative ages, Report 1:3, pg 6

memories, childhood museum experiences, Report 1:3, pg 5-8

memories, original objects in childhood museum memories, pg 6

memories, original objects in childhood museum memories, adults under 30, Report 1:3, pg 6

Serendipity

and museums, Report 2:3, pg 8-9

“oh!” moment vs “wow” moment, Report 2:3, pg 9

mindset, Report 2:3, pg 6-7

initial sparks of interest, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

deeper discover, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

mastery of a subject, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

Teen Experiences

control over museum experience, Memo 2:4, pg 7-8

do’s and don’ts, Memo 2:4, pg 8

frustrations with museums for parents of teens, Memo 2:4, pg 6

games, Memo 2:4, pg 8

meaning making in museums, Memo 2:4, pg 9-10

parental view of what engages teens in museums, Memo 2:4, pg 6

preferred museum activities, Memo 2:4, pg 7-9

talking to experts in museums, Memo 2:4, pg 6, 8-9

usefulness of museums, Memo 2:4, pg 9

Transformative Experiences

emotional response to museum experiences, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 21

stages of transformative experiences, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 21

transformation model, 2014-2015 Year in review, pg 21

transformative moments, initial vs. refining, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 24

transformative moments, outside museums, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 24

Objects

authenticity, brain response to, Report 1:3, pg 17

authenticity, children’s response to copies, Report 1:3, pg 16

authenticity, scientific literature, Report 1:3, pg 16-17

authenticity, value of, Report 1:3, pg 16

differentiating factor for museums, objects, Report 1:3, pg 20

objects, “spark of interest”, Report 1:3, pg 7

objects, compared to hands-on experiences for successful learning outcomes, Report 1:3, pg 9

objects, percentage of meaningful adult experiences, Report 1:3, pg 9, 18

memories, original objects in childhood museum memories, Report 1:3, pg 6

memories, original objects in childhood museum memories, adults under 30, Report 1:3, pg 6

Philanthropy

Effective Altruism

background, Memo 2:1, pg 3-6

criticism of, Memo 2:1, pg 8-9, 10-13

definition, Memo 2:1, pg 4

empathy and, Memo 2:1, pg 5-6, 11-12

empathy, emotional vs. cognitive, Memo 2:1, pg 11-12

giving pledge, definition, Memo 2:1, pg 4

impact investments, definition, Memo 2:1, pg 4

implications for museums, pg 14-15

lifestyle suggestions, Memo 2:1, pg 5

“morally dubious” to give to museums, Memo 2:1, pg 4-5

opportunity costs of, Memo 2:1, pg 10-12

organizations, Memo 2:1, pg 9

Singer, Peter, and writings on, Memo 2:1, pg3 – 6

value destruction, definition, Memo 2:1, pg 4

warm-glow donors, definition, Memo 2:1, pg 4

who has embraced it, Memo 2:1, pg 7-8

young adults, Memo 2:1, pg 7

finance and technology sectors, Memo 2:1, pg 7-8

generational change at family foundations, Memo 1:1, pg 3

impact-based philanthropy, definition, Memo 1:1, pg 1-2

shift to impact-based philanthropy, reasons, Memo 1:1, pg 2

STEM vs. arts and humanities, public funding, Memo 1:4, pg 2

Population Segmentation

60 and Older

adding new activities in retirement, lack of, Memo 2:5, pg 6

Audience Segmentation

Curious Learners, estimated percent of the US population, Report 2:3, pg 3

Curious Learners, estimated percent of museum-goers, Report 2:3, pg 3

dis-interested non-visitors, percent of general public, Report 1:9, pg 11

Ideological Visitors, definition, Report 1:9, pg 9-10, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 15

Ideological Visitors, percent of US population, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 15

interested non-visitors, percent of general public, Report 1:9, pg 11

non-visitors of museums, reasons and segmentation, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 15

US population breakdown, museum visitation, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 14-15

Utilitarian Visitors, definition, Report 1:9, pg 10-11, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 15

Utilitarian Visitors, percent of US population, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 15

Childhood

childhood activities, self-reported impact on adult development, Report 1:9, pg 19-20

childhood museum memories, most formative ages, Report 1:3, pg 6

Curiosity Mentors, Report 2:3, pg 13-14

museums as a tool, Report 2:3, pg 13

toolbox to create Curious Learners, Report 2:3, pg 13-14

Curious Learners/Ideological Visitors vs. Utilitarian Visitors and Goal-Driven Learners, Report 2:3, pg 5

engagement, childhood exposure as predictor, museums, Report 1:9, pg 15-16

engagement, childhood exposure as predictor, high need for cognition activities, Report 1:9, pg 16-17

lifelong learning, correlated childhood experiences, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 29

Community Connections, Report 2:6, pg 8-9

“deeply connected”, Report 2:6, pg 8-9

“somewhat connected”, Report 2:6, pg 9

“not very connected”, Report 2:6, pg 9

Curious Learners

curiosity

curiosity, at birth, Report 2:3, pg 10

curiosity, broader impacts, Report 2:3, pg 15-16

curiosity, individual impacts, Report 2:3, pg 15-16

Curiosity Mentors, Report 2:3, pg 13-14

adults/mentors, effect of modeling curious learner behaviors for children, Report 1:9, pg 18-19

museums as a tool, Report 2:3, pg 13

toolbox to create Curious Learners, Report 2:3, pg 13-14

Curious Learners/Ideological Visitors vs. Utilitarian Visitors and Goal-Driven Learners, Report 2:3, pg 5

definition, Report 1:9, pg 10

effect of breadth of childhood experiences, Report 1:9, pg 17-18

estimated percent of museum-goers, Report 2:3, Report 2:3, pg 3

estimated percent of the US population, Report 2:3, Report 2:3, pg 3

Goal-Drive Leaners, definition, Report 2:3, pg 6

high need for cognition

definition, Report 2:3, pg 10

internal resources, Report 2:3, pg 11

neurological responses, Report 2:3, pg 12

outcomes, Report 2:3, pg 10-11

lifestyle and philosophy, Report 2:3, pg 4-6

motivated learning, impediments, Report 2:3, pg 14

serendipity, Report 2:3, pg 6-9

and museums, Report 2:3, pg 8-9

“oh!” moment vs “wow” moment, Report 2:3, pg 9

mindset, Report 2:3, pg 6-7

initial sparks of interest, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

deeper discover, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

mastery of a subject, sources of information, Report 2:3, pg 7

Families, Museum Going

enjoyment, parents visiting museums for their children, Report 1:6, pg 9

loss of museum-going families, “Lost Families,” Memo 2:4, pg 3-5

Teens

and games, Memo 2:4, pg 8

extra-curricular activities, Memo 2:4, pg 3

loss of museum-going families, “Lost Families,” Memo 2:4, pg 3-5

museum experiences do’s and don’ts, Memo 2:4, pg 8

museum-going families of tweens and teens, Memo 2:4, pg 5-6

                difference in motivations from families with younger children, Memo 2:4, pg 5

                visitation patterns, Memo 2:4, pg 5

Public Perceptions of Museums

articulation of museum value and differentiating factors, effect of regular attendance visits on, Report 1:6, pg 11

Definition of Museum

Museum-goers, Report 1:6, pg. 5-7

Broader public, Report 1:6, pg 6-7; Report 1:9, pg 8-9

educational, percent of broader public who view museums as, Report 1:6, pg 19

educational, percent of museum-goers who view museums as, Report 1:6, pg 19

Museum Differentiating Factors, Report 1:6, pg 12-16, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 24

authenticity, Report 1:6, pg 12-13

truth, Report 1:6, pg 13

curation, Report 1:6, pg 13-14

focus, intentional learning spaces, Report 1:6, pg 14

different reality, Report 1:6, pg 14

educational experiences (variety), Report 1:6, pg 14-15

control over learning experiences, Report 1:6, pg 15

serendipity, Report 1:6, pg 15-16

social experience, not a differentiating factor, Report 1:6, pg 16

opinion of museums, broader public, Report 1:6, pg 17

perceptions of museums, museum-goers, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg 8

perceptions of museums, non-visitors, 2014-2015 Year in Review, pg. 6-7

Science and Science Museums

interest, public in science, Report 1:9, pg 4 – 5

usefulness, perceptions of science museums, Report 9, pg 5 – 6

STEM informal learning alternatives to science centers, Memo 1:7, pg 5

STEM, perceived benefits, Memo 1:4, pg 5-6

STEM, preferential language in the public conversation, Memo 1:4, pg 2

STEM vs. arts and humanities, graduation and employment, Memo 1:4, pg 3

Trust

co-curation and trust, Memo 1:8, pg 7

differing opinions, presentations of, Memo 1:8, pg 3-5

money, controversial or contradictory sources, Memo 1:8, pg 8-10

money from donors, transparency, Memo 1:8, pg 9-10

trustworthiness of museums, perceptions of, by institution type, Memo 1:8, pg 2

trustworthiness of museums, perceptions of, general, Memo 1:8, pg 2

trustworthiness of science centers, core visitor perceptions, Memo 1:8, pg 3