Vaccines were one of the great inventions of modern history. They helped stop America’s polio epidemic in the 1950s.
And yet many people are reluctant to get their shots or vaccinate their children.
A study published Wednesday concludes that using education campaigns, and simply trying to persuade people to get the shots, is far less effective than using indirect behavioral nudges.
The reason most people don’t get vaccinations for themselves or their children, the study found, isn’t because they need convincing but because they perceive inconveniences or obstacles.
The new report – published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest – draws on hundreds of studies on psychology, behavioral science and vaccinations.
“When it comes to vaccines, I think we have this optimistic belief that just by telling people facts you can change their behavior,” said Noel Brewer, the study’s lead author. “But when was the last time someone told you one fact and suddenly you lost five pounds or started brushing your teeth?”
Read the whole story: Chicago Tribune