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The effects of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories on vaccination intentions

Jolley, Daniel, Douglas, Karen (2014) The effects of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories on vaccination intentions. PLoS ONE, 9 (2). e89177. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089177)

Abstract

The current studies investigated the potential impact of anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs, and exposure to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, on vaccination intentions. In Study 1, British parents completed a questionnaire measuring beliefs in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and the likelihood that they would have a fictitious child vaccinated. Results revealed a significant negative relationship between anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs and vaccination intentions. This effect was mediated by the perceived dangers of vaccines, and feelings of powerlessness, disillusionment and mistrust in authorities. In Study 2, participants were exposed to information that either supported or refuted anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, or a control condition. Results revealed that participants who had been exposed to material supporting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories showed less intention to vaccinate than those in the anti-conspiracy condition or controls. This effect was mediated by the same variables as in Study 1. These findings point to the potentially detrimental consequences of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, and highlight their potential role in shaping health-related behaviors. This is an open access article and a copy can be obtained from the URL: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0089177

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089177
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 15:42 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:03 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38992 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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