Attn. museum curators! If you were to ask your visitors to lift heavy weights whilst looking at exhibits, would their esthetic pleasure and appreciative comprehension increase? A recent study, published in frontiers in Psychology suggests that ‘Weight lifting can facilitate appreciative comprehension for museum exhibits’.
A research team from Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, asked 42 participants to view museum specimens (a variety of mammalian skeletons) in display cabinets at the Kyushu University Museum while they lifted specially prepared polystyrene foam boxes which had been weighted with sand (in accordance with the actual weight of each exhibit). [see photo] They were observed whilst lifting, and were subsequently asked to complete questionnaires about their experience.
“Results showed that memory performance was better and viewing duration was longer with weight lifting instruction than without instruction.”
Museum curators may also be interested in the hypothesis that weight-lifting museum visitors might be :
“[…] willing to pay more money to experience such appreciation when compared with the participants in the uncued condition.”
Also see: How high and why (encumbering observers with weights around their ankles reduces estimates of how high an actor can jump)