Things are better than you think – Manchester Museum pilots a values-based approach 11/1/2018

74% of people in the UK believe they hold ‘compassionate’ values (broadmindedness, social justice, honesty) but also think that 77% of the rest of the population primarily hold ‘self interest’ values (wealth, public image, success). For the past year Values and Frames has been working with Manchester Museum to explore how museum spaces can be used to help people see what they have in common as citizens. In doing so, they hope to close the ‘perception gap’ about what others value. Museum applications of the research have been highly practical: such as discussing with visitors the trade-offs of what to stock in the museum shop, and discovering how to increase donations by asking in the right way.  The result is a new guide, drawing from the findings in Manchester and the work of social psychologists. Manchester Museum Director Dr Nick Merriman said “we have an opportunity to convey to people the simple truth that most citizens care for other people and the places that we live – much more than we currently imagine… Manchester Museum has begun to work in this way, but this is a good-news story that can and must be told by many other organisations”. On 24th January, Museums Development North West is hosting a free event for museum staff interested in finding out more about this approach and its benefits.  Values and Frames, Values and Frames (guide), Arts Professional, Museum-id, MDNW