Free word association analysis of Germans' attitudes toward insects

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Title: Free word association analysis of Germans' attitudes toward insects
Authors: Vlasák-Drücker, Jasmin
Eylering, Annike
Drews, Jasmin
Hillmer, Gesa
Hilje, Vera Carvalho
Fiebelkorn, Florian
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Abstract: In this paper, the results of two free word association tests were analyzed to gain insight into Germans' attitudes toward insects. We used a novel approach in the form of an association network with the help of the software “Gephi” that was originally developed for social network analysis. The influence of attitude on the willingness to donate (WTD) and actual donation to an insect conservation project was investigated as well. Data collection was conducted via an online questionnaire (n = 515; Mage = 49.36, SD = 16.73; female = 50.1%). For the first test, participants listed three associations for the prompt “insect.” The associations were assigned to the three components of attitude: affective, cognitive, and behavioral. For the second test, participants named insects they pictured when thinking about “insects.” The results were taxonomically classified. The WTD was assessed with a Likert-type scale and an actual donation could be made at the end of the online questionnaire. “Bee” was the most frequently named association, followed by “useful,” “nature,” “pollination,” and “pesky.” “Pesky” was most often named with “useful,” indicating that being aware of insects' usefulness is not enough to supersede negative associations. In the second test, only 6% of the associations were on the species level, which suggests little taxonomic knowledge about or interest in insects. Linear regression revealed that positive affective associations had a positive influence on the WTD and negative affective associations had a negative influence on the WTD, both with a small effect size. We advise educating people not only about the usefulness of insects but also fostering positive, personal encounters to increase positive affective associations and decrease negative ones.
Citations: Vlasák-Drücker, J., Eylering, A., Drews, J., Hillmer, G., Carvalho Hilje, V., & Fiebelkorn, F. (2022). Free word association analysis of Germans' attitudes toward insects. Conservation Science and Practice, 4( 9), e12766.
Subject Keywords: association network; attitude; free word association; influence on donation; insect; willingness to donate
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2022
License name: Attribution 4.0 International
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Type of publication: Einzelbeitrag in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift [Article]
Appears in Collections:FB05 - Hochschulschriften

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