Prevention is better than cure: Addressing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories

Jolley, Daniel and Douglas, Karen M. (2017) Prevention is better than cure: Addressing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47 (8). pp. 459-469. ISSN 0021-9029

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12453

Abstract

The current research tested if explicit anti‐conspiracy arguments could be an effective method of addressing the potentially harmful effects of anti‐vaccine conspiracy theories. In two studies, participants were presented with anti‐conspiracy arguments either before, or after reading arguments in favor of popular conspiracy theories concerning vaccination. In both studies, anti‐conspiracy arguments increased intentions to vaccinate a fictional child but only when presented prior to conspiracy theories. This effect was mediated by belief in anti‐vaccine conspiracy theories and the perception that vaccines are dangerous. These findings suggest that people can be inoculated against the potentially harmful effects of anti‐vaccine conspiracy theories, but that once they are established, the conspiracy theories may be difficult to correct.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 09:06
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 14:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40862

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