EJMSTE proudly congratulates its 1000th paper with this paper.
Animals are the most prevalent subjects for photographs in science textbooks. Many of them are potentially dangerous to humans, and visual exposure to potential threat can influence learning outcomes as well as emotional attachment to these animals. We experimentally investigated the influence of animal posture (aggressive-looking vs. neutral-looking) on 10 – 13-year-old pupils’ information retention and willingness to support the protection of these animals. We found that information placed below aggressive-looking animals was retained significantly better than information placed below neutral-looking animals. Survival-relevant information was retained better than survival-irrelevant information. Willingness to protect aggressive-looking animals was lower than willingness to protect neutral-looking animals. This suggests that aggressive-looking pictures receive stronger attention, but do not distract pupils from learning. Aggressive animals may have a negative influence on animal conservation efforts.
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