"Using Bitgood's language, this book immediately captures and then focuses our attention through clearly articulated ideas and research-base frameworks that are grounded in, but not constrained by past research and then presents contemporary research that deeply engages us in an exploration of the attention-value framework as a lens for understanding, changing and measuring visitor engagement. The clear organization and language of this book belies the rich complexity of the research and theory. Get your highlighters and sticky notes ready; this book is worth the attention of anyone interested in research or practice and it will be recommended to all my students."
--Kris Morrissey, Director, Museum Graduate Program, University of Washington
"Following up from his comprehensive, two-volume collection of essays, Social Design in Museums: The Psychology of Visitor Studies, (2011), Steve Bitgood has directed his analytic skills to exploring in detail one of the fundamental variables in understanding the behavior of museum visitors - what determines the level of attention that visitors pay to museum exhibits? And more importantly, how can such knowledge help in the design of exhibits that better realize their potential effectiveness in communicating with visitors?"
--Harris Shettel, Curator Board of Editors and past president of the Visitor Studies Association
"...Bitgood addresses one of the core issues of visitor studies: Visitor attention. As any exhibit designer and museum educator knows, a major challenge in planning displays is how to focus visitor attention to key elements of design and interpretation. Bitgood presents a comprehensive overview of how attention has been researched in visitor studies. Additionally, he expands on ideas and reports on his own program of research. He also provides a helpful guide in his Attention-Value Model. Readers will not only learn about attention, but also gain insights for practical applications from research. This is a must read book for understanding visitor attention. Typical of Bitgood's writings, readers will also gain many insights into visitor studies."... - Ross J. Loomis, Ph.D. Psychology, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University
“This study should be of major interest for those who design exhibitions primarily in museums, which must devote time and effort to attracting visitors. Bitgood (emer., Jacksonville State Univ.) investigates a complex combination of components from both exhibition practice and psychological theory to develop the "attention-value model." The book, organized into four parts, incorporates both historical and current examples. Each of the 16 chapters begins with a useful listing of "Key Ideas" and "Key Questions" that focus on different types of exhibitions. What, for example, is "visitor attention"? What do visitors look at? Why and how do visitors pay attention? What distracts them? Results of the author's research are reported in narrative form, tables, and figures. He views "attention" as a three-stage continuum involving capture, focus, and engagement. He indicates that "it must be understood within an economic definition of value (utility/cost ratio)." An appendix presents a very useful "Checklist for Managing Visitor Attention" that identifies the most important variables. This volume follows the author's two-volume set of collected essays, Social Design in Museums: The Psychology of Visitor Studies (2011). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.”CHOICE