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The visitors’ view on Obersalzberg: cognitive psychological analyses of the perception of an authentic location and its propagandistic staging during the time of National Socialism

WorkgroupMultimodal Interaction Lab

Social Processes Lab
Duration06/2016 - open
FundingLütjen-Drecoll Stiftung, IWM budget resources
Project description

The project „Visitors’ view on Obersalzberg“ focuses on two research questions: How can propaganda pictures get deconstructed? And how does the awareness of being in a historic place related to Nazi-history influence the perception, the processing and the judgements about associated pictures? Cooperation partner is the Institute for Contemporary History (Dokumentation Obersalzberg). Empiric findings are meant to flow into the realm of practice, the museum.

Places of remembrance linked to the history of National Socialism (NS, Nazi) are gaining importance during the last two decades. Obersalzberg is a place with references to the Nazi-regime and was used as a setting for Nazi-propaganda. Today an educational center about history and politics is located there. The project is divided into two thematic blocks: on the one hand the deconstruction of propaganda, on the other the impact of historical places.
A first experimental study already showed that prior information about the crimes that happened during the time of NS as well as the awareness of being at a place linked to that history had a negative influence on the personal mood. The negative personal mood in a next step influences the valence ratings of associated pictures. Within the project, both field studies and lab studies are conducted. Methodologically, a broad spectrum of objective (computer-based speech analyses, eye-tracking) and subjective measurements (questionnaires, rating scales) is used. Methods for the deconstruction of propaganda images are also investigated in virtual realities and with multi-touch surfaces.
The empiric findings are meant to build a basement for further psychological research as well as to get transferred to the conception of the new permanent exhibition of the Dokumentation Obersalzberg.


The Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin (IfZ), Dokumentation Obersalzberg