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‘ It ’ s gross, but cool gross ’ : Children ’ s reactions to BODY WORLDS: the Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies Kimberly M. Burtnyk Manager of Evaluation, Amgen Center for Science Learning California Science Center. Outline. A brief history of BODY WORLDS

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‘It’s gross, but cool gross’:Children’s reactions to BODY WORLDS: the Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human BodiesKimberly M. BurtnykManager of Evaluation, Amgen Center for Science LearningCalifornia Science Center

outline
Outline
  • A brief history of BODY WORLDS
  • Previous research on BODY WORLDS
  • Current research study and findings
a brief history of body worlds
A Brief History of BODY WORLDS
  • BODY WORLDS I
      • Created 1995 by anatomist, Gunter von Hagens
      • 200+ real human specimens
  • Donated bodies are Plastinated
      • Tissues replaced by polymer plastic through a vacuum process.
a brief history of body worlds1
A Brief History of BODY WORLDS
  • Posed whole bodies reveal organs, bone structure tissue, and other anatomical features.
  • Other specimens include limbs, blood vessels, nerves, organs, repairs (i.e hip replacements.)
a brief history of body worlds2
A Brief History of BODY WORLDS
  • Controversial?
    • Origin of specimens?
    • Cultural objections?
    • Is it art, science, both, or neither?
a brief history of body worlds3
A Brief History of BODY WORLDS

Gunter von Hagens, 1995

Juan Valverde de Amusco, 1559

previous body worlds research
Previous BODY WORLDS Research
  • Visitor Polls
      • 500 Adults surveyed per site
      • Marketing focus
      • Limited demographics
        • But, people who visit love it
  • Child survey (Vienna 1999)
      • Vienna
      • 130 10–12 y.o. surveyed post visit only
        • Mostly positive esp. for those visiting willingly and with pre knowledge
previous body worlds research1
Previous BODY WORLDS Research
  • No formal academic learning/impact research
  • Families never surveyed
body worlds family research design
BODY WORLDS Family Research: Design

Therefore….Families chosen as subjects

  • With children 7-12 years old (i.e. our primary demographic)
  • Pre-/post-visit
  • Affective and cognitive expectations and outcomes measured
body worlds family research research questions
BODY WORLDS Family Research: Research Questions
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young children (esp. as reported by children themselves)?
body worlds family research research questions1
BODY WORLDS Family Research: Research Questions
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young children (esp. as reported by children themselves)?
body worlds family research research questions2
BODY WORLDS Family Research: Research Questions
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young children (esp. as reported by children themselves) ?
body worlds family research the sample
BODY WORLDS Family Research: The Sample
  • 172 families surveyed at entrance (over 9 weekends.)
        • Continuous stratified random sampling
        • Kids interviewed, parents self-reported
        • Parents and children interviewed/surveyed separately
  • 150 returned for exit interview
  • Total number of surveys = 644
      • 300 Child pre and post-visit (+ 22 pre-visit only)
      • 300 Adult pre and post-visit (+ 22 pre-visit only)
research findings question 1 affective expectations
Research Findings: Question (1) Affective Expectations
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young visitors (esp. as reported by children themselves)?
research findings question 1 affective expectations1
Research Findings: Question (1) Affective Expectations

6) How do you think you’ll react to seeing the exhibits?

Not at all Extremely

Will you be curious? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be fascinated? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be uncomfortable? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be interested? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be sad/upset? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will it make you think a lot? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be confused? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be grossed out? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will you be bored? 1 2 3 4 5 6

Will it be creepy? 1 2 3 4 5 6

research findings question 1 affective expectations4
Research Findings: Question (1) Affective Expectations

How parent expectations for child’s visit matched child expectations: Positive Expectations

Parentswere…

research findings question 1 affective expectations5
Research Findings: Question (1) Affective Expectations

How parent expectations for child’s visit matched child expectations: Negative Expectations

Parentswere…

research findings question 1 affective expectations summary
Research Findings: Question (1) Affective Expectations Summary
  • Children expected that seeing BODY WORLDS would be a positive experience
  • On positive affect, parents accurately assessed or were more positive about their child’s feelings about visiting BODY WORLDS
  • On negative affect, parents accurately assessed or were more negative about their child’s feelings about visiting BODY WORLDS
  • On negative affect, children expected to be confused or grossed out by BODY WORLDS
research findings question 2 affective cognitive outcomes
Research Findings: Question (2) Affective/Cognitive Outcomes
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young visitors (esp. as reported by children themselves)?
research findings question 2 affective outcomes2
Research Findings: Question (2) Affective Outcomes

How accurately parents assessed the affective impact of BODY WORLDS on children: Positive impact

Parentswere…

research findings question 2 affective outcomes3
Research Findings: Question (2) Affective Outcomes

How accurately parents assessed the impact of BODY WORLDS on children: Negative impact

Parentswere…

research findings question 2 learning expectations
Research Findings: Question (2) Learning Expectations

What Children and Parents Expected to see in BODY WORLDS

research findings question 2 family expectations
Research Findings: Question (2) Family Expectations

Recollections of Family Conversations Prior to Visiting BODY WORLDS

research findings question 2 children s expectations
Research Findings: Question (2) Children’s expectations
  • “You could learn more and get ahead in class.” (M9)
  • “You can learn stuff about the body so they don’t eat stuff that is bad.” (M11)
  • “It’s interesting, learn a lot. If you smoke you know what your lungs look like.” (F9)
  • “It’s cool to see dead bodies in positions, see all the muscles.” (M11)
  • “It’s fun for kids to learn about the human body, to see what it looks like inside.” (F7)
research findings question 2 learning outcomes
Research Findings: Question (2) Learning Outcomes

What Kids said They Learned vs. What Parents Thought their Kids Learned

research findings question 2 children s reactions summary
Research Findings: Question (2) Children’s Reactions Summary
  • In the affective realm, children reacted positively to BODY WORLDS
  • Many valued it as a learning experience and not necessarily one related to school
  • It met or exceeded their expectations
research findings question 3 appropriateness for children
Research Findings: Question (3) Appropriateness for Children
  • How did children expect to feel and how did parents expect their children to feel in BODY WORLDS?
  • How did children react to BODY WORLDS and how did their reactions compare with their own and their parents’ expectations?
  • How appropriate was BODY WORLDS for young visitors (esp. as reported by children themselves)?
research findings question 3 children s opinions
Research Findings: Question (3) Children’s Opinions

Compared to what you thought it would be like before, what did you think of BODY WORLDS?

research findings question 3 children s opinions1
Research Findings: Question (3) Children’s Opinions

Overall, how did your child react to seeing BODY WORLDS?

research findings question 3 appropriateness for children1
Research Findings: Question (3) Appropriateness for Children

How much did you (child)/your child (parent) like BODY WORLDS?

body worlds family research research conclusions
BODY WORLDS Family Research: Research Conclusions
  • Parents and children had similar expectations of BODY WORLDS.
  • Parents successfully/did not successfully gauge their child’s reactions to the exhibit.
  • Parents and children both felt that BODY WORLDS was entirely appropriate for children 13 and under.
  • Children in particular valued the experience.