Activities per year
Studies evaluating human-wildlife interactions (HWI) in a conservation context often include psychometric scales to measure attitudes and tolerance towards wildlife. However, data quality is at risk when such scales are used without appropriate validation or reliability testing, potentially leading to erroneous interpretation or application of findings. Using two online databases (ProQuest Psych Info and Web of Science), we analyzed published HWI studies with a conservation focus to; (1) determine the methods used to measure attitudes or tolerance toward predators and other wildlife; (2) determine the proportion of these methods utilizing psychometric scales; and (3) evaluate the rigor with which the scales were used by examining whether the psychometric properties of validity and reliability were reported. For the decade spanning 2007-2017, 114 published studies were identified; 94 (82%) used questionnaires and many of these (53; 56%) utilized a psychometric scale. Most scales (39; 74%) had at least one test of reliability reported, but reliance on a single test was notable, contrary to recommended practice. A smaller majority (35; 66%) reported a test of validity but this was primarily restricted to structural validity rather than more comprehensive testing. Encouragingly, HWI-investigators are increasingly utilizing the necessary psychometric tools for designing and analyzing questionnaire data, but the failure to assess the validity or reliability of psychometric scales used in over one third of published HWI attitude research warrants attention. Incorporation of more robust application of psychometric scales is advocated in order to advance understanding of stakeholder attitudes as they relate to HWI.
|Publication status||Submitted - 19 May 2020|
- human wildlife coexistence
- psychometric scales
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
Jackie Abell (Speaker)
16 Nov 2018
Activity: Talk or presentation › Invited talk
Jackie Abell (Member)
1 Sep 2016
Activity: Membership › Membership of working group
Whitehouse-Tedd, K., Abell, J., & Dunn, A. (2020). Evaluation of the use of psychometric scales to determine attitudes towards predators in human-wildlife interaction research. Manuscript submitted for publication.