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

Jolley, Daniel, Douglas, Karen (2017) Prevention is better than cure: Addressing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47 (8). pp. 459-469. ISSN 0021-9029. E-ISSN 1559-1816. (doi:10.1111/jasp.12453)

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http://dx.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
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jasp.12453
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 09:09 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 11:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60913 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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