Conservation and human behaviour: lessons from social psychology

St John, F.A.V. and Edwards-Jones, Gareth and Jones, Julia P. G. (2010) Conservation and human behaviour: lessons from social psychology. Wildlife Research, 37 (8). pp. 658-667. ISSN 1035-3712. (Access to this publication is restricted)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR10032

Abstract

Despite increased effort from non-governmental organisations, academics and governments over recent decades, several threats continue to cause species declines and even extinctions. Resource use by a growing human population is a significant driver of biodiversity loss, so conservation scientists need to be interested in the factors that motivate human behaviour. Economic models have been applied to human decision making for many years; however, humans are not financially rational beings and other characteristics of the decision maker (including attitude) and the pressure that people perceive to behave in a certain way (subjective norms) may influence decision making; these are characteristics considered by social psychologists interested in human decision making.Wereview social-psychology theories of behaviour and how they have been used in the context of conservation and natural-resource management.Many studies focus on general attitudes towards conservation rather than attitudes towards specific behaviours of relevance to conservation and thus have limited value in designing interventions to change specific behaviours (e.g. reduce hunting of a threatened species). By more specifically defining the behaviour of interest, and investigating attitude in the context of other social-psychological predictors of behaviour (e.g. subjective norms, the presence of facilitating factors and moral obligation), behaviours that have an impact on conservation goals will be better understood, allowing for the improved design of interventions to influence them.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: attitude, behaviour, decision making, parks, poaching, hunting, social norms, taboo
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Freya St John
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2012 08:03
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2013 10:04
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/28712 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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