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

Jolley, Daniel and Douglas, Karen (2017) Prevention is better than cure: Addressing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. ISSN 0021-9029 (In Press)

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Abstract or description

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
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Daniel JOLLEY
Date Deposited: 26 May 2017 10:25
Last Modified: 26 May 2017 10:25
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3131

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