Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Psychology


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Adele Hills


This study examined the use of information in motivating environmentally responsible behaviour. In light of the ineffectiveness of traditional educational methods that have focussed upon affecting behaviour by changing attitudes through the manipulation of cognitive variables, an attempt was made to produce a sense of identification with the Rottnest Island Quokka using the tripartite model of motivational bases of attitudes developed by Hills (1993 ). This model used to determine whether different kinds of information would produce changes in environmental behaviour. Three groups of tourists were given either no information; factual information, consistent with current educational techniques used to influence behaviour; or identification information designed to produce feelings of identification with the quokka directed at protecting the quokka and its environment. Results indicated that wording the same information differently affected the self-reported motivational bases of behaviour toward the quokkas and their environment. Identification motivations were reportedly higher with tourists given the identification information brochure compared to those given factual or no information. The literature suggests that with heightened identification motivations, instrumental motivations are likely to be reduced. Results offered no support for this argument. Furthermore, behavioural observations indicated that the manipulation did not lead to differences in the behaviour of tourists across the three information groups. Behavioural observations of the interactions between tourists and quokkas highlighted the role of instrumental motivations among tourists. Whilst instrumental motivations should therefore be recognised and incorporated into any educational or environmental strategy aimed at protecting the environment, it is suggested that further research is needed to better understand how alternative motivations, such as one with an identification base, can better promote a valuing of the environment and its fauna for its own sake