There is widespread concern about wolves and bears in the Swedish population. What psychological factors are behind this?
The purpose of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of people's fear of wolves and bears and to describe the consequences of the fear of public reaction to various protection- and management measures. Our previous studies have shown that people who express a high degree of fear of large carnivores are also less willing to support measures to preserve them.
Based on psychological theory considering the project in both evolutionary and social factors in fear. A survey of the subjectively experienced fear and acceptance of management measures of wolves and bears conducted among 800 Swedes living in predator areas. Data collected at four locations with documented differences in the experiences of wolves and bears. The questionnaire study identified 16 participants in each place that exhibit different patterns in their fears. These individuals are invited to participate in a laboratory study of psychophysiological and behavioral fear responses.
The results provide guidance on how people's fear of wolves and bears should be addressed in the practical work of wildlife management. The results are relevant to politicians and officials involved in predator management and for locals in predators areas.
Via the Wildlife Protection Fund has over the years 2009-2011 assigned 1 500 000 SEK for the project.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency