Animal Studies Bibliography

Kellert, Stephen R. 1993. Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior Toward Wildlife Among the Industrial Superpowers: United States, Japan, and Germany. Journal of Social Issues 49 (1):53-72.


Residents of the US, Japan, and Germany have different attitudes toward, knowledge about, and behavior toward wildlife.

Independent Variables/Operational Definitions

(1) Nationality (American, Japanese, or German)

--Within each nationality, controlled for age group (18-35 or 35+) and educational level (grade school, high school, college).

Dependent Variables/Operational Definitions

(1) Attitudes toward wildlife--groups of survey questions produced for each R a scale score on each of 9 attitude scales (naturalistic, ecologistic, humanistic, moralistic, scientistic, aesthetic, utilitarian, dominionistic, and negativistic)

(2) Knowledge about wildlife--mean score for series of questions about basic animal biology, extinction, etc.

(3) Behavior toward/use of animals--under what circumstances does R approve of hunting (recreation and sport, meat, recreation and meat, trophy), have recreational contact with animals (birdwatching, pet, zoo, wildlife TV), membership in conservation/wildlife organization, willingness to take a fish's habitat for different types of human use (human uses: cool industrial plant machinery, hydro-power dam, drinking water, recreational dam, irrigation)


A majority of Rs in each country showed interest in and appreciation for individual animals (usually with aesthetic/cultural/historical associations) but little concern for or knowledge of wildlife species and the ecosystems that support them. Among Americans and Germans, the 18-35-year-olds and the better-educated showed greater interest and concern. The differences found between the countries can be understood in terms of their national history and cultural values. Early settlement patterns during American development produced a tradition of open access to wildlife, (Americans showed the greatest support for and participation in hunting), and the existence of large amounts of public land produced national regulation and conservation efforts to counter the former tendency (Americans also showed much greater conservation-group membership than did the Japanese). This conflict, with the heterogeneity of the American population, helps explain the strife over wildlife policy in the US. Japan has a tradition of affection and respect for nature usually expressed in ritualized forms and in the abstract, which explains their emphasis on a species or individual animal rather than habitats or wildlife in general. Germans expressed a very idealistic and romanticized attitude toward animals and nature. They also showed the greatest willingness to sacrifice human needs in favor of animals' needs, but because of the population density of Germany, wilderness is very restricted and regimented, and Germans therefore face real choices between animals and humans much less often than Americans.

Sample/Population Sampled

(1) The American sample consisted of 3107 personal interviews with persons 18 or older in all states but Hawaii. Respondents were chosen through area clusters and random probability sampling. Comparison of the sample to census data confirmed the sample's representativeness.

(2) The Japanese sample consisted of 450 personal interviews with individuals randomly selected from Tokyo and three rural areas. Due to the small sample size, researchers used stratified random sampling based on sex, age, and education in each sampling area. The data were supplemented with 50 focused interviews with experts on Japanese culture and views of nature. The 50 were chosen from 300 recommended by scholars and conservationists.

(3) The German sample consisted of 1484 personal interviews from all regions of the former West Germany. Respondents were identified through adult education programs, and compared to the German population, the sample had slightly more females, younger respondents, and more highly educated respondents.


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