Explaining anti-angling sentiments in the general population of Germany: an application of the cognitive hierarchy model
A cognitive hierarchy framework was used for understanding the impact of two wildlife value orientations (WVO), domination and mutualism, on anti-angling sentiments in Germany. We also explored anthropomorphism (i.e., attribution of sentience and pain perception to animals), attitudes toward animal rights, and attitudes toward recreational and catch-and-release angling as constructs that might mediate the influence of WVO on the support for a ban on recreational angling. Data from 1,043 randomly selected persons were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results supported the suitability of WVO to explain the moral acceptability of recreational fishing mediated by animal rights ideology. We found little effect of anthropomorphism on attitudes toward recreational fishing. We conclude that convincingly answering the question of whether or not fish feel pain is unlikely to alter the social climate related to recreational fishing. By contrast, an increase of mutualism WVO in Germany is likely to elevate negative resentment to recreational fishing.
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