The Pest Management Attitude scale: a tool for measuring consensus between experts and practitioners in invasion biology

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Jacopo Cerri , Emiliano Mori, Elisa Serra, Alberto Stefanuto


Quantifying attitudes towards invasive alien species (IAS) is fundamental to understand the extent to which conservation scientists agree and can collaborate in their management. We tested the Pest Management Scale (PMS), originally invented to quantify attitudes towards invasive alien mammals in New Zealand, as a tool to quantify broader attitudes towards IAS among bioinvasion experts in Italy.
In autumn 2020 we administered an online questionnaire to a sample of 525 experts, representing almost all people working on biological invasions in Italy, that contained a subset of 7 questions from the PMS. We collected 316 answers, both from conservation practitioners (26.6%) and researchers (73.4%), and we used structural equation modeling to test for the psychometric properties of the scale and compare attitude scores between groups.
The PMS showed both a good reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.7), validity (CFI = 0.99, TLI = 0.99, SRMR = 0.03, RMSE = 0.02) and measurement invariance, when comparing researchers and practitioners, as well as when comparing respondents working on different invasive taxa. Both researchers and practitioners, as well as respondents with a different background, and respondents of a different age, had similar attitudes about IAS and their management.
Out study shows that the PMS, a simple scale originally conceived to measure attitudes towards invasive alien mammals, could indeed be used to quantify the attitudes of experts towards IAS. Even in countries where the public debate about biological invasions is much more recent than in New Zealand. The PMS scale could potentially be used both for large-scale and long-term research about the attitudes of experts about IAS.



Life Sciences, Other Anthropology, Other Psychology, Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Systems Biology


biological invasions, attitudes, structural equation models, Human Dimensions, Questionnaire, survey


Published: 2023-11-17 14:43


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Supplementary information, including Appendix1, Appendix2 and reproducible data and software code is available at: