Be(e)wildering Misconceptions; Examining Erroneous Thinking About Pollinators
The significance between cognitive construal and pollinator conservation action has not yet been investigated, so we utilized the relationship between construals, conservation attitude, and action to determine the impact of pollinator knowledge on conservation action.
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[00:00:00.750]Hi, my name is Audrey Harrod,
[00:00:02.340]and I have done my research on bewildering
misconceptions; examining erroneous
[00:00:07.080]thinking about pollination.
[00:00:09.810]Everyone is familiar with the importance
of pollinators to many food crops,
[00:00:13.200]but the details of what's actually
doing the pollinating and how that's
[00:00:16.260]occurring tends to be less widely known
and has resulted in a wide variety of
[00:00:20.010]misconceptions. These misconceptions
stem from cognitive construals,
[00:00:23.820]which are informal ways of perceiving
and reasoning about the world and can be
[00:00:27.480]found anywhere between
[00:00:29.550]about nature to biology courses.
[00:00:31.710]Some of those common forms within biology
include teleological and essentialist
[00:00:36.730]being the use of function or purpose to
explain events, and essentialism being
[00:00:40.770]the application of the properties of
one category member to others within the
[00:00:44.820]same category. Links between
misconceptions and conservation
[00:00:49.050]attitudes towards animals like reptiles
have been established, as well as links
[00:00:53.100]between conservation attitudes
and environmental behavior.
[00:00:56.190]The significance between
cognitive construal and
pollinator action has not yet
[00:00:59.700]been investigated. So in this study,
[00:01:01.620]we exploited the relationship
between construals, attitude,
[00:01:04.680]and action to determine the impact of
pollinator knowledge on conservation
[00:01:08.250]action. The objectives were to determine
the presence of an association between
[00:01:13.080]pollinator knowledge and
[00:01:15.510]while also examining the link between
cognitive construals and conservation
[00:01:18.960]attitudes. To do so,
[00:01:22.620]We used a 17 question
[00:01:24.000]true false pollinator knowledge test
that in previous use had respondents make
[00:01:27.780]written justifications for their answers.
[00:01:29.940]Answers from the previous data were
grouped into misconception theme and
[00:01:33.150]categorized by cognitive construal.
[00:01:35.160]In addition to a series of pollinator conservation attitude
[00:01:39.780]we added the construal-coded justifications into
the knowledge test for
[00:01:43.170]respondents to select from when
they answered a question incorrectly.
[00:01:46.500]The test was then published
on Amazon's Mechanical Turk,
[00:01:49.140]which is a crowdsourced marketplace where
people work and are paid to complete
[00:01:52.560]tasks for companies, such as surveys.
207 responses were pulled for
[00:01:57.090]analysis and the data from
these responses were analyzed
[00:02:00.300]using correlation statistics in SPSS.
[00:02:05.220]Depicted are examples of the
construal coding process.
[00:02:08.370]One of the questions was whether dogs
can function as pollinators, with a
[00:02:11.700]popular incorrect response being that
yes, dogs can be trained to pollinate.
[00:02:16.500]This response serves as an example of
teleological thinking because of the idea
[00:02:20.340]that dogs can be trained for the
purpose, or goal, of pollinating.
[00:02:24.030]Another question asked was whether pollen
is regularly transferred by fur on
[00:02:27.360]a bat's face.
[00:02:28.500]People's answer, that bats couldn't
pollinate because they live in caves, is an
[00:02:32.310]example of essential is thinking because
the notion that some bats live in caves
[00:02:36.390]was extended to all species of bats, negating other possibilities.
[00:02:41.880]The analysis we conducted was between the
number of correct true false questions
[00:02:45.960]and conservation attitude, where we
found a significant positive correlation.
[00:02:50.730]We then took this one step further,
[00:02:52.500]running a factor analysis
for the 17 questions
[00:02:55.200]and saw a grouping of 11 questions.
[00:02:57.570]We ran correlation analysis with these
11 questions and conservation attitudes
[00:03:02.080]and found a nearly identical Pearson
correlation r value with the 11 as with
[00:03:08.860]We ran correlation statistics for
teleological thinking by conservation
[00:03:12.400]attitude, and essentialist
thinking by conservation attitude.
was, as you can see here,
[00:03:18.340]not significant. Essentialism, on the other hand,
[00:03:21.070]had a significant
negative correlation -
[00:03:23.680]this translates to a mild
relationship between the two.
[00:03:30.140]The 11 question
[00:03:31.160]subset explains all the variance within
conservation attitude. Of these 11,
[00:03:35.960]9 were suggesting
that any animal can pollinate,
[00:03:38.300]which is classified as
an essentialist construal.
[00:03:40.970]The negative correlation
misconceptions and conservation
[00:03:44.720]attitude further supports that believing
any animal can pollinate creates a mental
[00:03:48.980]barrier against understanding plant
pollinator relationships and their
[00:03:54.620]The association of pollinator knowledge
score with pollinator conservation
[00:03:58.160]attitudes can be used to further
methodology for predicting pollinator
[00:04:01.730]engagement like in the survey,
[00:04:03.350]which can be revised down to less
burdensome 11 questions. Most importantly,
[00:04:08.600]the study indicates a need for education
to focus on the uniqueness of plant
[00:04:12.500]and pollinator communities and
[00:04:15.020]they are. The misconception that any
animal can pollinate reduces the perceived
[00:04:19.520]need for pollinator conservation.
[00:04:21.860]If people are going to make
a difference in conserving endangered
[00:04:25.430]pollinators, such as this
rusty patched bumblebee,
[00:04:28.160]then this is a misconception
we cannot afford to keep.
[00:04:31.070]If pollination has profound,
[00:04:34.100]what other fields are plagued
by similar erroneous thinking?
[00:04:38.840]Thank you all for listening
to my presentation! Special
thanks to my mentors,
[00:04:42.410]Doug Golick and Jenny Dauer, the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
[00:04:45.920]Beneficial Insects Research Experience
and Extension for Undergrads program, and
[00:04:50.480]the U.S. Department of Agriculture
for making this project possible.
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