Searching for the Cognitive Basis of Anti-Vaccination Attitudes
Lindeman, Marjaana; Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Riekki, Tapani J.J. (2023)
Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.
Riekki, Tapani J.J.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Research on the reasons for vaccine hesitancy has largely focused on factors directly related to vaccines. In contrast, the present study focused on cognitive factors that are not conceptually related to vaccines but that have been linked to other epistemically suspect beliefs such as conspiracy theories and belief in fake news. This survey was conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic (N = 356). The results showed that anti-vaccination attitudes decreased slightly with cognitive abilities and analytic thinking styles, and strongly with scientific literacy. In addition, anti-vaccination attitudes increased slightly with teleological bias and strongly with an intuitive thinking style, ontological biases, and religious and paranormal beliefs. The results suggest that the same cognitive mechanisms that predispose to other epistemically suspect beliefs may predispose to anti-vaccination attitudes as well. The findings also indicate that pro-vaccination communication should focus on early prevention and that interventions against vaccine hesitancy should strive to be intuitively appealing.
- TUNICRIS-julkaisut