Sloppy study gets slammed

Animal-rights study debunks “myth” that zoos and aquariums promote conservation

In Defense of Animals recently pointed out major flaws in a 2007 study on zoos and aquariums that has allegedly been used to mislead the public, according to an IDA press release.

The San Rafael-based animal-protection organization recently published “Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors?” in the peer-reviewed journal Society & Animals, to criticize a nonpeer-reviewed study published three years ago by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that has been used as evidence that zoos and aquariums promote attitude changes and conservation efforts in their visitors.

The IDA’s study points out fundamental flaws in the AZA’s research techniques, such as nonrandom sampling and response bias.

The findings also debunk the myth that keeping wild animals in captivity promotes their protection, said Catherine Doyle, the IDA’s elephant campaign director.