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Does social influence affect COVID-19 vaccination intention among the unvaccinated?

Salali, Gul Deniz; Uysal, Mete Sefa; Bozyel, Gizem; Akpinar, Ege; Aksu, Ayca; (2022) Does social influence affect COVID-19 vaccination intention among the unvaccinated? Evolutionary Human Sciences pp. 1-23. 10.1017/ehs.2022.29. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Conformist social influence is a double-edged sword when it comes to vaccine promotion. On the one hand, social influence may increase vaccine uptake by reassuring the hesitant about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine; on the other, people may forgo the cost of vaccination when the majority is already vaccinated – giving rise to a public goods dilemma. Here, we examine whether available information on the percentage of double-vaccinated people affects COVID-19 vaccination intention among unvaccinated people in Turkey. In an online experiment, we divided participants (n = 1013) into low, intermediate, and high social influence conditions, reflecting the government's vaccine promotion messages. We found that social influence did not predict COVID-19 vaccination intention, but psychological reactance and collectivism did. People with higher reactance (intolerance of others telling one what to do and being sceptical of consensus views) had lower vaccination intention, whilst people with higher collectivism (how much a person considers group benefits over individual success) had higher vaccination intention. Our findings suggest that advertising the percentage of double-vaccinated people is not sufficient to trigger a cascade of others getting themselves vaccinated. Diverse promotion strategies reflecting the heterogeneity of individual attitudes could be more effective.

Type: Article
Title: Does social influence affect COVID-19 vaccination intention among the unvaccinated?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2022.29
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/ehs.2022.29
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10151961
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