Cognitive and Affective Predictors of Illinois Residents' Perceived Risks from Gray Wolves

Adam C. Landon, Maarten H. Jacobs, Craig A. Miller, Jerry J. Vaske, Brent D. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing wolf populations are a concern for wildlife managers in the Midwestern U.S. Understanding the psychological mechanisms that contribute to public perceptions of risk will enable development of strategies that seek to mitigate these risks, and suggest where outreach efforts may facilitate acceptance of wolves. We examined the psychological factors that influence Illinois residents' perceived risks from wolves. We hypothesized that individuals' perceived risks from wolves were a function of their attitudes toward wolves, negative affect toward wolves, and basic beliefs about wildlife. Data were obtained from a survey of the Illinois public (n = 784). Negative affect and attitudes toward wolves were direct predictors of perceived risks. Basic beliefs predicted attitudes and negative affect toward wolves. Negative affect predicted attitudes. Basic beliefs had direct and indirect effects on perceived risks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-593
Number of pages20
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • Attitudes
  • cognitive hierarchy
  • emotion
  • risk
  • wildlife value orientations
  • wolves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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