Today it was a real slow start, with me taking my time getting out of bed, working out my shoulders (which actually went great, have thrown a new exercise into the loop), and then busing my way to campus to counsel. What was great was that today, my client told me that my suggestions were working great, and that there was a definite increase in positivity. Fantastic! I didn’t feel like I had that much of an impact, but evidently there was something, so that kind of gave me warm fuzzies inside. Afterwards, I went to work on my classmate’s computer which went terminal blue screen of death. After booting into safe mode and doing a system restore, her files were saved as was her machine. Given her reaction to this crisis aversion, I felt rather accomplished today!
I was reading an article from by Sadie F. Dingfelder in Monitor on Psychology, which combined two rather interesting topics- ecology and social psychology. It was rather interesting to see that the first successful captive great white shark was doing well in the Monterey Bay Aquarium (incidentally, they have black fins, which I had at first mistaken for a black tipped reef shark, but was puzzled with the clear difference in the snout characteristics of the article’s pictorial). Uniqueness aside, the article targeted the focal aspect of zoos- to increase conservation and endangered species awareness. What was interesting was how they analyzed conversation pieces from zoo attendees to render what they were taking from the programs. Indeed, if anything, the results show that people are not in fact taking away from the zoo’s primary focus, increasing knowledge of threatened species or habitats. In fact, some polarized arguments depict a rather different picture, that zoos suggest human control over animals (masters of nature for good or ill), and that they separate animals from their natural habitats, resulting in an opposite direction of conservation (why bother saving the environment, when you can just take its eye candy and place it in an aquarium).
Fortunately, the results seem to show the opposite, that people are actually creating ways to relate to the animals, changing how they see their role in ecology. This may increase their concerns of man’s threat to nature, a difficult notion to obtain when we are so busied with our daily commutes to work. Another interesting aspect concerned the information available in the zoo- although people do not necessarily take away information as readily as zoos would like them to, the information that does get taken away is often redundant. The example used in the article was how people already knew that not all sharks were dangerous to people, yet that was plastered everywhere. Instead, their misconception of saving sharks by “leaving them alone” was never corrected during their visit (sharks are reduced extensively with commercial fishing). This reminds me of how drinking and driving advertisements were largely unsuccessful because although they made the combined actions taboo in all viewers eyes, they never told them what to do about it. So everyone agreed that it was bad, but didn’t know what actions to take (hence the newer advertisements showing what its like to drive drunk vision wise). Fascinating.