This chapter explores the product shift hypothesis from another angle and hypothesize that increased density of use will cause visitors to perceive that a variety of attributes of the wilderness area have changed, regardless of whether they have in reality. It examines the hypothesis that higher levels of social encounters will prompt visitors to not only report lowered experiences of solitude, but also lowered evaluations of physical and biological characteristics of the wilderness. The number of groups met or seen during the wilderness visit was used as the social encounter measure. For the solitude model, social encounters retained a significant and substantial effect on ratings of the dimension over both categories of the experience variable. In addition to causing lowered ratings of the sense of solitude in Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, social encounters also resulted in a lowered rating of the feeling of unspoiled wilderness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)