Virtual Heritage and Wellbeing

Investigators: Amy Luck and Dr Faye Sayer

Project Brief: This research project investigates if engagement with virtual heritage impacts individual’s wellbeing and mental health.

A survey of 650 museums in 41 countries conducted in April 2020 by the Network of European Museum Organisations shows that more than 60% of museums have increased their online presence since closing due to social distancing and 40% have experienced a large upsurge in online visits.

This research will seek to:

  1. Evaluate how engagement with virtual heritage sites can impact visitor wellbeing
  2. Understand how different types of virtual heritage sites and diverse demographics of visitors positively and/or negatively impact on subjective wellbeing
  3. Identify what elements of virtual heritage provide the greatest positive change to wellbeing
  4. Compare the impact of virtual heritage to that of in-person heritage experiences on wellbeing

Project Method: This mixed-method research methodology has developed from an accurate and critical data capture strategy already piloted on several heritage projects in the UK, USA, India and Nigeria (Sayer 2015; Sayer 2018). This research methodology employs quantitative wellbeing measures such as the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Modified Visual Analogue Scale (MVAS) alongside quantitative measures such as free comment space on surveys to identify impacts on individual wellbeing.

Participation: We are actively seeking participants from all demographics to take part in this research.

If you would like to take part, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Read the participant information sheet to find out more: http://tiny.cc/lmd9nz
  2. If you’d like to take part, click this link and fill in the survey: https://bit.ly/2AbuDOE
  3. Once you finished the survey, visit one (or more) of the below museums or explore their collections – virtually!

(Recommended minimum time 20 minutes, maximum 2 hours)

(Just click on the yellow man to access virtual tours or scroll down to see collections on Google Arts & Culture)

  1. Once you’ve finished your visit, click this link and fill in the survey: http://tiny.cc/53mdoz1

Contact: If you would like to know more about this project, please contact amy.luck@stu.mmu.ac.uk.

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