ERIC Number: ED347003
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
A Provocative Look at Young People's Perceptions of Animals.
Westervelt, Miriam O.
Humane Education, p23-25,28 Dec 1983
A small but representative group of 267 children ranging from 6 to 18 years of age participated in a study to determine their perceptions of animals. The group included 63 second, 68 fifth, 67 eighth, and 69 eleventh graders randomly selected from public schools across Connecticut. This study was conducted in conjunction with a national survey of adult perceptions of animals. A major goal of this study was the development of a wide variety of attitude measuring techniques. Personal interviews were used to allow the interviewer to adapt wording, explain concepts, and sustain interest levels according to the needs of individual children. The interviews lasted over one hour and consisted of 110 attitude, knowledge, and behavior questions. The attitude questions were developed around a typology of orientations to animals and preferences for specific kinds of animals. Knowledge of animals was also measured, as was the frequency of participation in observing and other learning activities relating to animals. The most common attitude was a strong emotional affection for individual animals, mainly pets, with a strong humanistic orientation toward animals. Comparison of the results of the children's study with those of the adult study reveal some similarities, as well as many differences, such as the following: the children exhibited more naturalistic tendencies than adults and a more moralistic attitude about hunting animals for reasons other than food. Other comparisons of data reveal significant differences among demographic groups in the survey. The study suggests possibilities for further investigation. (ALL)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Attitude Scale