Specificity and the Cognitive Hierarchy: Value Orientations and the Acceptability of Urban Wildlife Management Actions

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Society and Natural Resources (Impact Factor: 1.09). 06/2006; 19(6):515-530. DOI: 10.1080/08941920600663912


This article tests theory suggesting cognitions at the same level of specificity have stronger associations than those at different levels. Using data from a survey of Anchorage, AK, residents (n = 971, response rate = 59%), we explored relationships between general wildlife value orientations and (1) the general acceptability of hunting urban wildlife populations, and (2) specific wildlife management actions (e.g., the acceptability of destroying a bear or moose after specific conflict situations). Consistent with previous research, patterns of basic wildlife beliefs aligned along two distinct value orientations (protection–use and wildlife appreciation) that differentially predicted management action acceptability. As hypothesized, general wildlife value orientations had more influence on the acceptability of hunting to reduce wildlife populations than destroying an animal involved in specific conflict situations. Findings suggested ways to improve measurement, ways to develop broader models that include values-related variables, and the importance of values-level information when addressing urban wildlife conflicts.

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Available from: Jerry J. Vaske, Jul 14, 2014
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    • "Several of the country or cross-cultural studies are based on rather small samples of specific social groups (e.g., university students), although this is remedied to some degree through weighting of the data in some analyses. Few systematic studies attempt to analyze WVO in terms of socio-demographic variables (Vaske et al., 2011; Whittaker, Vaske, & Manfredo, 2006; Zinn, Manfredo, & Barro, 2002; Vaske, Donnelly, Williams, & Jonker, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article examined value orientations toward wildlife among the adult general Danish public in relation to age, sex, past and present residence, education, and income, using a U.S. survey instrument on Wildlife Value Orientations (WVO). The study used an Internet-based questionnaire sent to a representative sample of the Danish public in 2012 (n = 1,001). As predicted, there was a predominance of mutualists and a large segment of distanced individuals. Sex was the only variable shown to have a pronounced effect on WVO, with females being more mutualist-oriented than males. Information about the general public’s WVO can be used to check against the orientation of other specific groups such as landowners and hunters. It can also prove useful for developing specific hunting and wildlife policies such as certification of wildlife managers.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Human Dimensions of Wildlife
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    • "Research suggests that norms and other concepts, such as behavioral intentions, are part of a broader cognitive hierarchy (Fulton, Manfredo, & Lipscomb, 1996; Whittaker, Vaske, & Manfredo, 2006). Behavioral intentions are defined as an individual's perceived likelihood or probability that he or she will engage in a given behavior (Fishbein & Manfredo, 1992). "
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    ABSTRACT: Limited research has examined landowner acceptance of using incentives for managing wildlife (e.g., compensation schemes). We examined acceptance of strategies for managing beaver impacts, use of incentives to protect habitat and retain beavers on private property, and how responses differed by impact severity, residential location, and experiences with beavers. Data were obtained from surveys of landowners in four regions of Oregon (n = 1,204). Education about how to coexist with beavers was the most acceptable management response across six impact scenarios (e.g., beaver chews trees, floods buildings). Lethal control was unacceptable across all scenarios. As impacts increased, leaving beavers alone became unacceptable and removing dams became acceptable. Irrespective of impact, landowners would be more likely to use incentives (e.g., financial compensation) than remove beavers. Landowners in Eastern Oregon and those who experienced impacts would be less likely to use incentives and considered aggressive strategies (e.g., removing dams, lethal control) more acceptable.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Human Dimensions of Wildlife
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    • "Instead, it appears that the siting of wind turbines comes into conflict with other strongly held values. This likely causes cognitive dissonance, which results in an individual ultimately siding with the value or values that rank higher in their internal hierarchy of values [31] [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Surveys of public attitudes have increasingly been criticized for being superficial and too fragmented to sufficiently represent views comprehensively within a complex issue domain. Attitudes are often assessed without context, and the scope of these surveys tends to be relatively narrow. With these concerns in mind, we developed a survey of adults in the United States that incorporated an approach that looks comparatively and in-depth at sub-issues within a larger policy domain, thereby probing deeper into individuals' attitudes than typically found. Our emphasis is on energy issues. As debates over energy issues like hydraulic fracturing, oil exploration, gas prices, and renewable energy rage, it is increasingly important to accurately and fully evaluate public attitudes. We present the results of this survey and evaluate the benefits of utilizing a sub-issue comparative, deep-probing survey instrument.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Energy
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