Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Dr. Kara Gabriel

Second Committee Member

Dr. Mary Radeke

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jessica Mayhew


Shade coffee plantations grow coffee under a canopy of trees and provide alternative habitats for many bird and primate species, known as agroecosystems, particularly in Latin America. The aim of the current project was to better educate the public about shade plantations and the positive effects they can have on conservation for primates. In addition, marketing tactics such as the presence of a shade plantation certification label and howler monkey images were assessed for their effects on consumer purchasing intentions as well as participant support for biodiversity and sustainability. Participants were recruited through the Department of Psychology’s research system at Central Washington University and through Facebook and Twitter social media platforms. Subjects viewed coffee bags with variations in howler monkey images and a Smithsonian certification label prior to answering questions about their attitudes on biodiversity, sustainability, subjective norming, and behavioral intentions. For university students, an image of a single howler monkey had a significant effect on biodiversity attitudes compared to no howler monkey image but neither the howler monkey image nor the Smithsonian certification label influenced sustainability, subjective norming, or behavioral intentions. The combined prior knowledge of primates, primate habitats, howler monkeys, biodiversity loss, sustainability standards, labels, and shade coffee plantations significantly influenced biodiversity, sustainability, subjective norming, and behavioral intentions in university students. These findings indicate that prior knowledge about a subject is more powerful than acute manipulations or marketing strategies presented to an audience.