This book summarizes a range of psychological research into how zoos and aquariums operate in the minds of visitors and the broader public. Bringing together core findings from emerging international research, Zoos and Aquariums in the Public Mind provides data-based summaries that situate the content in the larger context of how cultural institutions shape public understanding. The focus of this book is to bring into a single resource, the major strains of research that have explored how zoos and aquariums are situated in public consciousness, to ground the discourses around what zoos and aquariums do in the empirical data and evidence, and to find opportunities to summarize well-established fact to support future research expanding on the known.
Among the topics discussed:
- History of zoo and aquarium development
- The role of zoos and aquariums in environmental literacy
- Empathy development at zoos
- Applying behaviour change theories to the zoo visitor's experience
- Social radiation of ideas from cultural institutions
Professional practitioners, zoo industry professionals, and business leaders will find this book an invaluable guide to the psychological literature surrounding the zoo industry.
John Fraser, PhD. AIA is a conservation psychologist who has dedicated over 30 years to exploring the role of zoos and aquariums in society. He is President & CEO of Knology, a past president of the Society for Environment, Population, and Conservation Psychology, Editor of Curator: The Museum Journal, and editor of this book series.
Joe E. Heimlich, PhD is Sr. Director for Research for the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and a researcher in COSI’s Center for Research and Evaluation where he studies informal learning in zoos, nature centres, science centres, and other museums. He is also Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University.
Kelly Riedinger, PhD is a Senior Researcher and program lead in informal, K-12 and connected learning for the STEM Research Center at Oregon State. Kelly has been involved in the zoo/aquarium field as a practitioner, researcher and evaluator for 20 years.