Cognitive and Affective Predictors of Illinois Residents’ Perceived Risks from Gray Wolves
Landon, A.; Jacobs, M.H.; Miller, C.A.; Vaske, J.J.; Williams, B.
Increasing wolf populations are a concern for wildlife managers inthe Midwestern U.S. Understanding the psychological mechanismsthat contribute to public perceptions of risk will enable developmentof strategies that seek to mitigate these risks, and suggest where outreach efforts may facilitate acceptance of wolves. We examined the psychological factors that influence Illinois residents’ perceived risks from wolves. We hypothesized that individuals’ perceived risks from wolves were a function of their attitudes toward wolves, negative affect toward wolves, and basic beliefs about wildlife. Data were obtained from a survey of the Illinois public (n¼784). Negative affect and attitudes toward wolves were direct predictors of perceived risks. Basic beliefs predicted attitudes and negative affect toward wolves. Negative affect predicted attitudes. Basic beliefs had direct and indirect effects on perceived risks.