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Understanding Organizational Trust of Zoos and Aquariums

By Shelley J. Rank, John Voiklis, Rupanwita Gupta, John R. Fraser, Kate Flinner

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Zoos and aquariums (ZAs) play a pivotal role in wildlife conservation, including educating the public. Nevertheless, media depictions of ZAs that emphasize animal captivity may erode public trust. We report on the first systematic survey of organizational trust in ZAs, contrasting how people perceive the current performance of ZAs against people’s expectations for establishing trust. The largest disparities between perceptions and expectations were for items that assessed the ethical integrity of ZAs: how well they maintain and communicate about animal welfare. ZAs can fully earn public trust by adjusting their practices and/or their messaging related to ethical integrity.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2018
Pages 12
Conference Title Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Communication
DOI 10.31274/sciencecommunication-181114-16
URL https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/sciencecommunication/2018/proceedings/6/
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Aquariums
  3. Conservation
  4. Ethics
  5. open access
  6. Trust
  7. Zoo and captive wild animals
  8. Zoos
  1. open access