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The Impact of Personalized Films on Learning and Retention Processes in Museums

Realistic Depictions


April 2006 - December 2008


Leibniz Association (WGL)


The dissertation project of Dipl. Psych. Jörn Töpper investigated (by means of field as well as laboratory research) how intensely visitors deal with exhibits on spares in museums after being exposed to short video-presented interviews with concerned people. According to theories of parasocial interaction (Hartmann, Schramm & Klimmt, 2004) and persuasion (ELM; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) such personalized films boost the self-reference of viewers. This in turn increases the subjectively felt/indicated emotional content and accordingly the motivation to process factual information (Spies, 1994; Shah, Kwak, Schmierbach & Zubric, 2004). This refers to information that is directly conveyed by the person (shown in the interview) and to contents that are associated with the person during the exhibit visit (carry-over effect).


  • Deutsches Museum München
  • IPN Kiel


  • Töpper, J. (2007, Juni). Impact of Personalized Films in Exhibitions. ECSITE - The European Annual Conference for Science Centres and Museums. Lissabon.


Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan
Tel.: +49 7071 979-228

Project team

Jörn Töpper