Research Methods

Bob Harlow (2015). Taking Out the Guesswork: A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences

A primer on using research such as focus groups and surveys to learn about audiences, develop more effective promotional materials, and evaluate audience-building initiatives. The guide details how to carry out the research effectively, supplemented by case examples of arts organizations that used research to cultivate new audiences and strengthen bonds with current attendees.

Bob Harlow (2009). The Pitfalls of Recruiting for Online Access Panels, Research World.

Not all online surveys are the same, and this paper selected as a “best of” by ESOMAR and published in Research World demonstrates how some online panel recruitment methods lead to lower-quality data that hampers the ability to derive meaningful insights.

 

Arts Audiences

Bob Harlow (2014). The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences

Bob Harlow (2015). Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics

Bob Harlow and Tricia Heywood (2015). Getting Past “It’s Not For People Like Us”: Pacific Northwest Ballet Builds a Following with Teens and Young Adults

Bob Harlow and Tricia Heywood (2015). Opening New Doors: Hands-On Participation Brings a New Audience to The Clay Studio

Bob Harlow (2015). Extending Reach with Technology: Seattle Opera’s Multipronged Experiment to Deepen Relationships and Reach New Audiences

Bob Harlow and Cindy Cox Roman (2014). Someone Who Speaks Their Language: How a Nontraditional Partner Brought New Audiences to Minnesota Opera

Bob Harlow, Tom Alfieri, Aaron Dalton, and Anne Field (2011). Attracting an Elusive Audience: How the San Francisco Girls Chorus Is Breaking Down Stereotypes and Generating Interest Among Classical Music Patrons

Bob Harlow, Tom Alfieri, Aaron Dalton, and Anne Field (2011). Building Deeper Relationships: How Steppenwolf Theatre Company Is Turning Single-Ticket Buyers Into Repeat Visitors

Bob Harlow, Tom Alfieri, Aaron Dalton, and Anne Field (2011). Cultivating the Next Generation of Art Lovers: How Boston Lyric Opera Sought to Create Greater Opportunities for Families to Attend Opera

Bob Harlow, Tom Alfieri, Aaron Dalton, and Anne Field (2011). More Than Just a Party: How the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boosted Participation by Young Adults

 

Social Psychology

My academic career is behind me but laid the groundwork for my interest in research methods and in finding patterns in large and diverse data sets. Here are just a few of the articles I published back then.

Robert E. Harlow and Nancy Cantor (1996). Still participating after all these years: A study of life task participation in later life, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Robert E. Harlow and Nancy Cantor (1995). To whom do people turn when things go poorly? Task orientation and functional social contacts, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Robert E. Harlow and Nancy Cantor (1994). Social pursuit of academics: Side effects and spillover of strategic reassurance seeking, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Tory Higgins, Ronald S. Friedman, Robert E. Harlow, Lorraine Chen Idson, Ozlem N. Ayduk and Amy Taylor (2001). Achievement orientations from subjective histories of success: Promotion pride versus prevention pride, European Journal of Social Psychology.