Vaccine for yourself, your community, or your country? Examining audiences’ response to distance framing of COVID-19 vaccine messages

Shupei Yuan, Haoran Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study explored the effects of COVID-19 vaccine promotion messages highlighting the benefit at individual, community, and country levels. Based on the cultural theory of risks, we investigated how individuals’ valuation of individualism vs. communitarianism and hierarchical vs. egalitarian social structure affect their responses to vaccine messages. Methods: An online experiment (N = 702) with four video message conditions (individual-centered, community-centered, country-centered, and no message) was conducted. Participants were asked about their cultural cognition worldview, then were randomly assigned to view one message. Participants also reported their willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccines and support for vaccine mandate. Results: Respondents were more likely to get vaccinated and support vaccine mandates after viewing an individual-centered message, less with a community-centered message. Individuals who value individualism were more likely to respond positively to individual-centered messages, but those who believe more in communitarianism value were less likely. Conclusion: Results showed that individuals are motivated selectively to respond to certain claims that cohere with their worldview and therefore respond differently to vaccine benefit frames. Practice Implications: The results point to the importance of understanding audiences’ worldviews. By identifying this process through hierarchical and individualistic values, properly designed health promotion messages can maximize the desired outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Benefit frames
  • Cultural cognition
  • Health communication
  • Vaccine message

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