I was wondering, if any of you have experience with psychology, what are the optimum conditions for busking?
I have little experience with psychology, but more with busking (don't ask I hate busking but was forced to do so as a kid).
Elderly or family audience?
Rich or average?
Doesn't matter in a first world country, you want lots of foot traffic, everyone can afford a coin or two, and you need volume. You want to sit down (so that loiterers obscure you, and others have to stop if they want to see what they are looking at) and you want steady foot traffic.
Sign explaining need for money or not?
Yes. And the sign should be upbeat and positive.
Should I put money in the container to start with or not?
Yes, put some coins in and one small bill (to show that it's not crazy to give a bill but also not miserly to give a coin).
Are people more likely to put money in if there's less money there already?
Yes, likewise if there is too much.
Does container size and shape make a difference?
Yes, if it's too small they have to get too close. A guitar case (the hard kind) works very well.
If you can help me with any of these questions, it would be much appreciated.
If you do it, I want video or pics. Last tip: don't bank it all on one location. If you are there an hour without much in way of results move.