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TPR 5/13/21: What works to incentivize vaccines? It depends.

TPR 5/13/21: What works to incentivize vaccines? It depends.
By Mark Tosczak • Issue #15 • View online
1-minute read
Today we’re looking at more COVID vaccination research. The results strongly suggest that, at least in some cases, political identity can be a strong factor in individual motivation.

What works to incentivize vaccines? It depends
While tens of millions of Americans have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, tens of millions have not. Researchers and public health authorities are trying to figure out how to motivate vaccine holdouts to take action.
A UCLA survey of 7,249 people suggests at least two incentives. Which one works best depends on who you’re trying to motivate.
One-third of those surveyed said a cash payment would make it more likely they’d get the vaccine. But for others, the prospect of not having to wear a mask was a stronger motivator.
UCLA researchers have found other kinds of messages weren’t as effective in changing minds.
Last October, one group saw messages that framed the benefits of vaccination in a self-interested way — “it will protect you” — while others saw messages that framed benefits in a more social manner: “It will protect you and those around you.” The subtle change did little; roughly two-thirds of people in both groups said they intended to get the shots.
It turns out, however, the political self-identity is a key factor in what messages worked.
Democrats were more motivated by the cash payment. Republicans were more likely to be spurred on by the prospect of not having to wear masks.
The bottom line? Differences in values and identity may mean some messages will be more effective than others.
Upcoming issues:
  • How a controversial financial app engages users
  • When do euphemisms and doublespeak actually work?
  • The most effective messages to sell plant-based burgers
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Mark Tosczak

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