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Communication interventions and fear of brown bears: Considerations of content and format

Johansson, Maria LU ; Hallgren, Lars ; Flykt, Anders ; Stoen, Ole-Gunnar ; Thelin, Linda and Frank, Jens (2019) In Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7.
Abstract
Communication interventions are commonly proposed as a way to address people's fear and negative attitudes to build tolerance in shared landscapes between humans and large carnivores. Therefore, managing authorities sometimes respond to people's fear of brown bears (Ursus arctos) by organizing an information meeting. This study increases the understanding of the information meeting to address fear of encountering brown bears. Using a mixed-method approach the study analyzes the explicit meta-communication, i.e., verbal interactions to coordinate communication between presenter and participants, the effects of the meeting on fear and fear-related variables over time, and how these effects compare with the effects of a visit to a permanent... (More)
Communication interventions are commonly proposed as a way to address people's fear and negative attitudes to build tolerance in shared landscapes between humans and large carnivores. Therefore, managing authorities sometimes respond to people's fear of brown bears (Ursus arctos) by organizing an information meeting. This study increases the understanding of the information meeting to address fear of encountering brown bears. Using a mixed-method approach the study analyzes the explicit meta-communication, i.e., verbal interactions to coordinate communication between presenter and participants, the effects of the meeting on fear and fear-related variables over time, and how these effects compare with the effects of a visit to a permanent brown bear exhibition, and the effects of a guided walk with exposure to brown bears and their habitat as two alternative communication interventions. Participation in information meetings contributed to reduce self-reported fear and the effect lasted over at least 6 months. The information meetings were, as assessed immediately after participation, less efficient than participation in a guided walk, but more efficient than a visit to a permanent brown bear exhibition in reducing fear. The content and format of the meeting was in line with the expectations of an information meeting, e.g., the presenter dominated the initiative in the explicit meta-communication, but still allowing for misconceptions and misunderstandings to be addressed and solved. In the development of communication strategies to address fear of large carnivores, managing authorities should pay attention to details in information content and format as well as to trade-offs between the number of people reached by the intervention and the strength of the effects on fear and fear-related variables among participants. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Communication interventions are commonly proposed as a way to address people’s
fear and negative attitudes to build tolerance in shared landscapes between humans
and large carnivores. Therefore, managing authorities sometimes respond to people’s
fear of brown bears (Ursus arctos) by organizing an information meeting. This study
increases the understanding of the information meeting to address fear of encountering
brown bears. Using a mixed-method approach the study analyzes the explicit
meta-communication, i.e., verbal interactions to coordinate communication between
presenter and participants, the effects of the meeting on fear and fear-related variables
over time, and how these effects compare with the... (More)
Communication interventions are commonly proposed as a way to address people’s
fear and negative attitudes to build tolerance in shared landscapes between humans
and large carnivores. Therefore, managing authorities sometimes respond to people’s
fear of brown bears (Ursus arctos) by organizing an information meeting. This study
increases the understanding of the information meeting to address fear of encountering
brown bears. Using a mixed-method approach the study analyzes the explicit
meta-communication, i.e., verbal interactions to coordinate communication between
presenter and participants, the effects of the meeting on fear and fear-related variables
over time, and how these effects compare with the effects of a visit to a permanent
brown bear exhibition, and the effects of a guided walk with exposure to brown bears and
their habitat as two alternative communication interventions. Participation in information
meetings contributed to reduce self-reported fear and the effect lasted over at least 6
months. The informationmeetings were, as assessed immediately after participation, less
efficient than participation in a guided walk, but more efficient than a visit to a permanent
brown bear exhibition in reducing fear. The content and format of the meeting was in
line with the expectations of an information meeting, e.g., the presenter dominated the
initiative in the explicit meta-communication, but still allowing for misconceptions and
misunderstandings to be addressed and solved. In the development of communication
strategies to address fear of large carnivores, managing authorities should pay attention
to details in information content and format as well as to trade-offs between the number of
people reached by the intervention and the strength of the effects on fear and fear-related
variables among participants. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
self-reported fear, brown bear, intervention, information meeting, exposure, exhibition, meta-communication
in
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
volume
7
article number
475
publisher
Frontiers Media S. A.
external identifiers
  • scopus:85077386137
ISSN
2296-701X
DOI
10.3389/fevo.2019.00475
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e02496d7-5356-41a6-946f-6f821c241253
date added to LUP
2020-01-02 15:50:05
date last changed
2020-12-29 03:04:29
@article{e02496d7-5356-41a6-946f-6f821c241253,
  abstract     = {Communication interventions are commonly proposed as a way to address people's fear and negative attitudes to build tolerance in shared landscapes between humans and large carnivores. Therefore, managing authorities sometimes respond to people's fear of brown bears (Ursus arctos) by organizing an information meeting. This study increases the understanding of the information meeting to address fear of encountering brown bears. Using a mixed-method approach the study analyzes the explicit meta-communication, i.e., verbal interactions to coordinate communication between presenter and participants, the effects of the meeting on fear and fear-related variables over time, and how these effects compare with the effects of a visit to a permanent brown bear exhibition, and the effects of a guided walk with exposure to brown bears and their habitat as two alternative communication interventions. Participation in information meetings contributed to reduce self-reported fear and the effect lasted over at least 6 months. The information meetings were, as assessed immediately after participation, less efficient than participation in a guided walk, but more efficient than a visit to a permanent brown bear exhibition in reducing fear. The content and format of the meeting was in line with the expectations of an information meeting, e.g., the presenter dominated the initiative in the explicit meta-communication, but still allowing for misconceptions and misunderstandings to be addressed and solved. In the development of communication strategies to address fear of large carnivores, managing authorities should pay attention to details in information content and format as well as to trade-offs between the number of people reached by the intervention and the strength of the effects on fear and fear-related variables among participants.},
  author       = {Johansson, Maria and Hallgren, Lars and Flykt, Anders and Stoen, Ole-Gunnar and Thelin, Linda and Frank, Jens},
  issn         = {2296-701X},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  publisher    = {Frontiers Media S. A.},
  series       = {Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Communication interventions and fear of brown bears: Considerations of content and format},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00475},
  doi          = {10.3389/fevo.2019.00475},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2019},
}