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Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study

By L. Marino, S. O. Lilienfeld, R. Malamud, N. Nobis, R. Broglio

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Modern-day zoos and aquariums market themselves as places of education and conservation. A recent study conducted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) (Falk et al., 2007) is being widely heralded as the first direct evidence that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive effects on people’s attitudes toward other animals. In this paper, we address whether this conclusion is warranted by analyzing the study’s methodological soundness. We conclude that Falk et al. (2007) contains at least six major threats to methodological validity that undermine the authors’ conclusions. There remains no compelling evidence for the claim that zoos and aquariums promote attitude change, education, or interest in conservation in visitors, although further investigation of this possibility using methodologically sophisticated designs is warranted.

Date 2010
Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 126-138
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/156853010x491980
URL https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/acwp_zoae/8/
Language English
Author Address [Marino, Lori; Lilienfeld, Scott O.] Emory Univ, Atlanta, GA 30322 USA. [Malamud, Randy] Georgia State Univ, Atlanta, GA 30303 USA. [Nobis, Nathan] Morehouse Coll, Atlanta, GA USA. [Broglio, Ron] Arizona State Univ, Tempe, AZ 85287 USA.Marino, L, Emory Univ, Atlanta, GA 30322 USA.lmarino@emory.edu
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Aquacultural and fisheries
  3. Attitudes
  4. Conservation
  5. Education
  6. Flawed conclusions
  7. Marine park
  8. Methodologies
  9. open access
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. Self Report
  12. validity
  13. Zoos
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed