Using High-Definition Underwater Videography and Social Psychology to Increase Public Interest in Rare Fishes
AdvisorBonar, Scott A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGenerating public interest in fish and their biology is often challenging. Many aquatic species are cryptic and largely invisible to the public. Therefore, it is important to be innovative in attempts at increasing public awareness of fish and in elevating the visibility of fisheries topics to broad audiences. Technological innovations now provide fisheries biologists, managers, and researchers with improved means for documenting fish in their natural habitat via underwater videography. I investigated such means to identify cost efficient and easy to use methods for capturing and creating high quality, high definition, and informative underwater videos. I tested 1) a variety of filming equipment including cameras and camera recording settings, lenses, batteries, and memory cards; 2) active and passive camera deployment techniques; and 3) a variety of free and paid postproduction software. The highest quality footage, i.e., the highest resolution, clearest, and most stable footage, was obtained using a GoPro action camera deployed underwater in a stationary position mounted to a metal base plate using a combination of stock and macro lenses, and filming in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. The final production videos were created using Adobe Premiere Pro. Furthermore, apathy of the public toward these fishes and their ecosystems hinders their conservation. After I filmed using the described methods, I then used that video footage and created low-cost, educational video presentations featuring the unique and rare desert fishes of Nevada and Death Valley, California. Using these videos, I tested the inclusion of various widely recognized social psychology principles (anthropomorphic [Chan 2012]; authority, commitment, rarity, reciprocity, similarity and liking, social proof [Cialdini, 2009]) in these videos to test their effectiveness at increasing presentation effectiveness when displayed to an audience that was apathetic towards the environment. Social psychology additions were screened by panels of university faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and human subjects’ experts to ensure they were ethical and truthful, not altering the accuracy of the information presented. I used text-only treatments surveyed through Qualtrics in the first round of treatment videos; enhanced text and different background image treatments surveyed through Qualtrics in the second round of treatment videos and enhanced text and different background image treatment videos surveyed through Mturk in the third round of treatment videos. In all three rounds of testing, regardless of control/treatment group, viewers' knowledge significantly improved post-viewing (Round 1: t = 37.809, df = 473, P < 0.001; Round 2: t = 45.256, df = 431, P < 0.001; and Round 3: t = 43.860, df = 352, P < 0.001). However, no significant differences in change in knowledge scores were found among groups in Round 1, 2, or 3. In addition, post-viewing New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) score, a measure of environmental attitude, was significantly higher than the pretest score, regardless of group (Round 1: t = 7.805, df = 498, P < 0.001; Round 2: t = 3.459, df = 451, P < 0.001; Round 3: t = 5.824, df = 352, P < 0.001). Significant differences in change in NEP scores among groups were only found in Round 3 (F = 2.967; df = 7, 345; P = 0.00493) with the reciprocity group scores significantly higher than similarity and anthropomorphic group scores (adjusted P-values of 0.0223 and 0.0336 respectively). These results indicate that all types of underwater videos, no matter the treatment type, have a positive effect on previously-apathetic viewers’ knowledge and ecological attitude. In addition, adding specific social psychology elements in videos had a subtle, but positive effect on viewers’ learning outcome and ecological attitude. Videos are a powerful tool to increase knowledge and ecological attitude among apathetic viewers. Research on the further development of ethical social psychological methods to help educate the public on conservation subjects is an important avenue of future investigation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College