This experiment was run to see whether the educational presentations done at zoos and other educational facilities are effectively changing patrons' negative misconceptions about the animals they were seeing. Participants were invited to attend one of three educational presentations, where they were exposed to either a low, intermediate or high level of interaction involving a bat. I hypothesized that regardless of the level of interaction, participants would learn the information, but that a higher level of interaction would cause the biggest perceptual change in terms of how participants felt about the bat and the highest degree of learning. Across the board, participants increased their factual knowledge, with no significant differences between the baseline, taxidermy or live bat conditions. The taxidermy group had the largest difference in attitude change, but the live bat did have a role in influencing participants' views as to whether bats were beneficial to the environment. These results imply that educational facilities can use a taxidermy bat or a live bat with their patrons and depending on how they utilize the inclusion of the interactive stimulus, it will cause perceptual and educational differences.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Hynes, Samantha, "Influencing opinions about bats the impact of levels of interaction during educational presentations" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1359.