The Influence of a Multi‐theme Park on Cultural Beliefs as a Function of Schema Salience: Promoting and Undermining the Myth of the Old West

Donna Morganstern, Jeff Greenberg

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Abstract

This study assessed the idea that theme park visits can influence cultural beliefs about the past and, further, that such effects depend on the schema of the park most available to the particular visitor. Subjects were randomly assigned to complete a questionnaire either before entering or after exiting Old Tucson, an Old West theme park and movie location. In addition, subjects were given either an “authentic Old West town” cue, a “famous movie location” cue, or no cue. It was expected that the cues would affect Old Tucson's impact on beliefs about the Old West. There was a significant entrance‐exit by cue interaction for beliefs in the myth of the Old West. As expected, when no cue was provided, belief in the Old West myth was stronger for exit subjects than for entrance subjects. When the town cue was provided, belief in the myth of the Old West was not affected by the visit. When the movie cue was provided, belief in the Old West myth was weaker for exit subjects than for entrance subjects. For movie cue subjects, the Old Tucson experience seemed to debunk the myth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-596
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1988

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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