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Countering messages by the anti-vaccine movement on social media

Ayseli, S. (2019) Countering messages by the anti-vaccine movement on social media.

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Abstract:This paper explores the use of countering messages, which were introduced by the WHO for the purpose of responding to vocal vaccine deniers in public situations, in the context of social media, applied to the example of the HPV vaccination. The goals of the executed study were to establish if vaccine critical content on social media has a negative influence on the attitudes towards the HPV vaccination and if a countering message is an effective tool to cancel this negative influence out. To address these issues, an online experiment with three different conditions was executed. Two conditions were focused on exposing participants to vaccine critical content on the social media platform Facebook, whereas one of them included additionally an appropriate countering message towards the Facebook content. A third condition which exposed participants to an online article about late eating and obesity was used as a control group. The countering message, that was used in one of the conditions, was designed under consideration of the guidelines provided by the WHO. After being exposed to one of the conditions, all participants received a questionnaire to assess their attitudes towards the HPV vaccination. The results of the study showed no negative influence of the vaccine-critical Facebook content on the attitudes towards the HPV vaccination and did not identify countering messages in the context of social media as an effective tool to counter against vaccine critical content. As this study was intended to function as a pilot study, its design provides an insight in what needs to be considered while applying countering messages in the context of social media and offers a basis for future research in this direction to work on. In order to draw conclusions from this research some limitations, especially in regard to its limited sample size need to be taken into account.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78756
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