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Biological Sciences


Rebekka Darner

Mentor Department

Biological Sciences


Some visitors to nature centers and wildlife rehabilitation facilities express unscientific ideas about how to accomplish wildlife protection. Despite attempts to develop mechanistic knowledge about how wildlife rehabilitation occurs through brochures and internet materials, unscientific ideas about how wildlife rehabilitation should occur continues to persist. This is problematic because everyday citizens hold much power in their personal actions or inactions for preventing the need for wildlife rehabilitation. The purpose of this study is to investigate how social identity factors, such as political ideology and science identity, are related to engagement in personal actions that would prevent the need for wildlife rehabilitation. We surveyed visitors to nature centers, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and zoos, as well as through MTurk during February of 2022. We then performed multiple regression analyses to elucidate relationships between social identity factors and personal actions. Findings can potentially improve preexisting modes of information dispersal, as well as develop new and accessible ways of relaying information to the public.

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