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Exposure as an Intervention to Address Human Fear of Bears

Johansson, Maria LU ; Støen, Ole Gunnar and Flykt, Anders (2016) In Human Dimensions of Wildlife 21(4). p.311-327
Abstract

People who live in brown bear areas often fear encounters with these animals. This article evaluated the potential effect of exposure to bears and their habitats on human fear of brown bears using the modeling of appropriate behavior when close to bears. In a within-subject design, 25 persons who reported to be fearful of brown bears participated in a guided walk approaching approximately 50 m of a brown bear in its daybed and in a guided forest walk in bear habitat. The presentation order was reversed for half of the group. The participants reported significantly reduced feelings of fear after the bear walk, but not after the forest walk. There were no corresponding significant effects for the experimental measures of fear-related... (More)

People who live in brown bear areas often fear encounters with these animals. This article evaluated the potential effect of exposure to bears and their habitats on human fear of brown bears using the modeling of appropriate behavior when close to bears. In a within-subject design, 25 persons who reported to be fearful of brown bears participated in a guided walk approaching approximately 50 m of a brown bear in its daybed and in a guided forest walk in bear habitat. The presentation order was reversed for half of the group. The participants reported significantly reduced feelings of fear after the bear walk, but not after the forest walk. There were no corresponding significant effects for the experimental measures of fear-related responses. The results partially support the notion that exposure to the object of fear, such as a bear habitat with presence of a bear, might be a feasible intervention to reduce peoples’ feeling of fear, but the design of the intervention must be developed further before it can be used in practice.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Brown bear, exposure, fear, intervention, multidisciplinary
in
Human Dimensions of Wildlife
volume
21
issue
4
pages
17 pages
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84961213634
ISSN
1533-158X
DOI
10.1080/10871209.2016.1152419http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2016.1152419
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ccf57504-5736-4dca-97ef-7ac8df68cd98
date added to LUP
2016-07-11 14:43:43
date last changed
2016-10-24 14:01:45
@misc{ccf57504-5736-4dca-97ef-7ac8df68cd98,
  abstract     = {<p>People who live in brown bear areas often fear encounters with these animals. This article evaluated the potential effect of exposure to bears and their habitats on human fear of brown bears using the modeling of appropriate behavior when close to bears. In a within-subject design, 25 persons who reported to be fearful of brown bears participated in a guided walk approaching approximately 50 m of a brown bear in its daybed and in a guided forest walk in bear habitat. The presentation order was reversed for half of the group. The participants reported significantly reduced feelings of fear after the bear walk, but not after the forest walk. There were no corresponding significant effects for the experimental measures of fear-related responses. The results partially support the notion that exposure to the object of fear, such as a bear habitat with presence of a bear, might be a feasible intervention to reduce peoples’ feeling of fear, but the design of the intervention must be developed further before it can be used in practice.</p>},
  author       = {Johansson, Maria and Støen, Ole Gunnar and Flykt, Anders},
  issn         = {1533-158X},
  keyword      = {Brown bear,exposure,fear,intervention,multidisciplinary},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {311--327},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x99c8f90)},
  series       = {Human Dimensions of Wildlife},
  title        = {Exposure as an Intervention to Address Human Fear of Bears},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2016.1152419http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2016.1152419},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2016},
}