Factors governing human fear of wolves: moderating effects of geographical location and standpoint on protected nature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study analyses psychological an tecedents of feelings of fear of wolves in a proportional sample of the Swedish population ( national sample, n = 545) and
in a sample of people in c ounties with wolf presence (regi onal sample, n = 1,892). Structural equation model-ling of survey data suggests a dual pathway to self-re porte d fear. One path encompa sses the appraisal of the environmental context operationalised as a potential wolf encounter. The second path concerns the appraisal of the social context asses sed as social trust in managing authorities. The relative importance of the paths differs between the national and the regional sample, and between people in the administrative centre of the region and the regional periphery. We show that the public’s fear of wolves should be addressed both at an individual level, focusing on situations with potential encounters, and at a collective level, by strengthening the trust between the public and authorities, and regional variation should be considered.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Fear, Appraisal , Trust , Wolves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-760
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 20
Publication categoryResearch