Marchini, S., & Macdonald, D. W. (2020). Can school children influence adults’ behavior toward jaguars? Evidence of intergenerational learning in education for conservation. Ambio, 49(4), 912–925.
A school-based experiment was conducted in the Brazilian Amazon to examine the effects of passively received information versus active elaboration on the ‘perceptions’ of jaguars (Panthera onca) among students, and the effects of information communicated via illustrated book on those perceptions among student’s parents. Books distributed via school decreased fathers’ perceptions of social acceptance of jaguar killing, but the same books distributed via a conservation organization did not. This suggests that fathers were influenced not only by the information explicitly conveyed in the content of books, but also by the implicit message that jaguar conservation was socially supported. Elaboration alone produced more persistent effects than information alone, but some negative attitudes were reinforced. Information and elaboration combined created stronger and more enduring effects than either intervention alone. These findings are important in designing interventions for our coexistence with jaguars and other charismatic species worldwide.