Field study of audience experience in contemporary circus: An exploratory study on the impact of audience's expertise

Magdalena Szubielska, Robbie Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study took place during a contemporary circus festival to investigate the audience experience of contemporary circus street performances. Specifically, we explored the impact of expertise on audience experience (emotion, intellect, novelty, place, interaction, and technique) and performance evaluation (liking and self-perceived understanding). Based on the participants’ self-report frequency of previous attendance of contemporary circus and current skill level in contemporary circus, we divided a sample of 349 adult audience members into three groups: low expertise, medium expertise, and high expertise. Expertise had a significant effect on audience experience; the high-expertise participants were more intellectually stimulated than both the medium- and low-expertise participants. Expertise had negligible effect on performance evaluation, but we note that performance reception could have been based on different interpretation styles; that is, more literal in participants lower in expertise and more metaphoric in participants higher in expertise. Finally, we found a clear positive association between audience experience and performance evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalPsyCh Journal
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • audience experience
  • busking
  • contemporary circus
  • expertise
  • street performance

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