How the availability bias distorts vaccination

The Self-Defeating Fight against Vaccination Refusal

In reaction to the persisting decrease of vaccination rates in developed countries, public authorities, the media and non-profits counteract with information campaigns. In my opinion, this approach is self-defeating because it ignores the phenomenon’s behavioral realities. 1. Raising awareness is typical for information campaigns. Articles with headlines such as Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s are well intended, but ignore the effect of social proof. When unsure what to do, people use others’ behaviors as cues for their own behavior. When faced with information on the increasing number of parents who refuse vaccination, others might interpret the message as: it’s OK not to vaccinate your children since others are doing this. ….[READ]

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