Perceived atmosphere of two exhibitions in relationship to environmental factors and cognitive, affective and restorative variables. Analysis of the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Perceived Atmosphere Instrument
Keywords: Museum Atmospherics; Exhibition Environment; Visitor Experience; Emotional Responses; Perceived Restorativeness; Museum Visitors.
The aim of this study is to investigate the psychometric characteristics and the relationship with the environmental and individual variables of the Italian version of the Perceived Atmosphere Instrument (PAI; Forrest, 2014), a self-report questionnaire designed to measure the perceived atmosphere of art exhibitions, and to detect how visitors perceive different exhibition spaces. A total of 604 visitors to one of two exhibitions at La Triennale in Milan, completed an Italian version of the PAI along with other questionnaires for the assessment of cognitive, affective, and restorative variables. The results show that the Italian version of the PAI has a three-factor structure, with good internal coherence of the three sub-scales and good sensitivity in discriminating between different exhibitions. The factors correlate with other cognitive and affective variables and some perceived restorative factors. The Italian version of the PAI is therefore a useful instrument for the assessment of the perceived atmosphere in museums and it could be used in profitably when setting up an exhibition.