Back in 2005, I wrote about a study by the Urban Institute dealing with attendance at cultural activities. Looking back at the study, The Diversity of Cultural Participation, I am still a little puzzled by one of the results. I’d love to know if there has been any additional insights developed since that time.
What they had found was that the majority of attendees went expecting an emotionally satisfying experience but far fewer felt they had one. Yet few people entered performance halls expecting a high quality experience but more left feeling they had one.
I make a number of assumptions and guesses about the reasons for various findings in my post, but as I say, I have no idea if I am anywhere near correct. The only thing I could think to add is that people see a lot of movies they feel are poor quality but are emotionally manipulative and bring those expectations to performance halls and museums. I would love to hear what other people think or have discovered.