Preventing wildlife crime with a focus on orangutans: Applying social influence techniques to public education efforts

David N. Sattler, Holly Berg, Sadie R. Grattan, Alyssa Nelson, Megan Poppe, Richard J. Harnish, Makayla Shank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Orangutans are projected to become critically endangered or extinct this century if humans continue to destroy their habitat. Threats include legal and illegal clearcutting of rain forests to establish palm oil plantations, climate change, and transnational organized crime. This study examines how self-benefit and other benefit appeals, knowledge of threats, concern about habitat loss, and liking orangutans are associated with (a) intent to protect habitat due to licit threats and crimes against wildlife, and (b) seeking information to save habitat. Upon entry to a zoo, 251 (118 men, 128 women, and 5 unknown) persons viewed posters highlighting the benefits of habitat conservation to self or others and completed a survey. Concern, threat knowledge, liking, and self-benefit and other benefit appeals accounted for 28% of the variance associated with intent to take action to protect the habitat. Integrating social influence principles into zoo displays and addressing barriers that prevent conservation behavior are discussed. The ideas in this paper are relevant to many primates and endangered species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1790-1796
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Volume37
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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