A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Link between Modernization, Anthropomorphism and Attitude to Wildlife

Gomez-Melara, Jose Luis, Acosta-Navarro, Rufino, Izar, Patricia , Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd, Pladevall, Jordi, Maulany, Risma Illa, Majolo, Bonaventura, Romero, Teresa and Amici, Federica (2021) A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Link between Modernization, Anthropomorphism and Attitude to Wildlife. Sustainability, 13 (23). p. 13095. ISSN 2071-1050

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313095

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A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Link between Modernization, Anthropomorphism and Attitude to Wildlife
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Abstract

Anthropogenic pressure has significantly increased in the last decades, often enhancing
conflicts at the human–wildlife interface. Therefore, understanding peoples’ value orientations,
attitudes and behavioural intentions towards wildlife is a crucial endeavour to reduce the occurrence
of conflicts between humans and wildlife. Previous research in the USA has shown a consistent link
between modernization and increased anthropomorphism (i.e., the tendency to attribute human
mental or physical characteristics to other entities), leading to positive changes in value orientations,
attitudes, and behavioural intentions towards wildlife. In this paper, we aimed to address
whether this link is also present in other cultures, by testing participants (N = 741) in five different
countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Spain). Our study shows that while the positive
link between anthropomorphism, positive attitudes and behavioural intentions towards wildlife is
universal, the link between modernization and anthropomorphism is culturally mediated. In some
countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain), modernization increased anthropomorphism, while in others
modernization predicted no differences (Brazil) or even a decrease in anthropomorphism (Mexico),
ultimately deteriorating individuals’ attitude and behavioural intentions towards wildlife. These
results call for caution when generalizing findings from western industrialized countries to inform
conservation policies worldwide.

Keywords:Modernisation, Anthropomorphism, Domination, Mutualism, Wildlife, Sustainability, Social ecology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C190 Biology not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L690 Anthropology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:47761
Deposited On:20 Jan 2022 16:11

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