Significance of Perceived Social Expectation and Implications to Conservation Education: Turtle Conservation as a Case Study
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The likelihood of participating in wildlife conservation programs is dependent on social influences and circumstances. This view is validated by a case study of behavioral intention to support conservation of Asian turtles. A total of 776 college students in China completed a questionnaire survey designed to identify factors associated with their intention to support conservation. A regression model explained 48 % of variance in the level of intention. Perceived social expectation was the strongest predictor, followed by attitudes toward turtle protection and perceived behavioral control, altogether explaining 44 %. Strong ethics and socio-economic variables had some statistical significant impacts and accounted for 3 % of the variance. The effects of general environmental awareness, trust and responsibility ascription were modest. Knowledge about turtles was a weak predictor. We conclude that perceived social expectation is a limiting factor of conservation behavior. Sustained interest and commitment to conservation can be created by enhancing positive social influences. Conservation educators should explore the potential of professionally supported, group-based actions that can nurture a sense of collective achievement as part of an educational campaign.
© 2012 Springer New York. This is an electronic version of an article published in Environmental Management, November 2012, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 900-913. Environmental Management is available online at: http://link.springer.com// with the open URL of your article.
Social and Cultural Geography
Conservation and Biodiversity
Social and Community Psychology