Monday, November 13, 2023
5:15 PM - 6:45 PM
The Persuasive Power of Exhibits
Session ID
Poster Presentations
Social Science Insights
Travis Niles

Exhibits and galleries are designed to convey information and create emotional responses. But how effective are they in actually changing the opinions of the viewing audience? Will that work for environmentally positive behaviors? We created exhibits focused on four areas: plant rich diets, community solar, electric vehicles, and donations to conservation projects, and installed them on the campus of Brandeis University. We next recruited 124 community members (not pulling from the student body) and had them take a pre-exposure survey, visit the exhibits and then take a post exposure survey. We found that our survey population already held pro-environmental values, and that the exhibits produced varied positive effects: increased likelihood of purchasing an electric car (d 0.39), increased self-confidence around adopting community solar (d 0.79), increases in the belief that eating less meat is an effective way to fight climate change (d 0.62), and increases in the belief that financially supporting nature conservation projects is effective way to fight climate change (d 0.40)