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06-05-2022

The effects of social-media based social comparison information and similarity mindsets on COVID-19 vaccination uptake cognitions

Auteurs: Noelle K. Herzog, Harika Vasireddy, Dylan A. Drenner, Jason P. Rose

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Behavioral Medicine

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Abstract

Vaccine hesitancy—delays in vaccine uptake when one is readily available—is an important public health issue. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of psychosocial factors in influencing cognitions and behaviors related to vaccine uptake have been examined. Using an online sample of unvaccinated U.S. adults (N = 300), we examined the influence of COVID-19-related social media-based comparison information (e.g., others’ attitudes about taking the vaccine)—as well as the moderating impact of (dis)similarity mindsets and indirect influence of affective associations, norm perceptions, and self-evaluations of efficacy—on vaccination uptake intentions. Participants reported higher intentions for vaccine uptake following exposure to cautious comparison models (e.g., those that engaged in health prevention behaviors, intended to get vaccinated) versus risky comparison models (e.g., those who did not engage in health prevention behaviors, did not intend to get vaccinated) and neutral comparison models and this effect was indirect through positive affective associations about taking the vaccine. There were no main or interactive effects of (dis)similarity mindsets. Understanding the psychosocial factors that influence health cognitions and behaviors in the context of an infectious disease pandemic will advance theoretical development and aid in creating interventions targeting vaccine uptake.

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Voetnoten
1
Of note, from a Selective Accessibility Model perspective, one might expect no main effect of comparison model. However, we based H1 off extant research related to exposure to social normative/comparison information in a vaccine context (Allen et al., 2009; Oraby et al., 2014; Palm et al., 2021). Findings support that exposure to a vaccine hesitancy (vs. uptake) norm was associated with lower (vs. higher) vaccine intentions and behaviors—evidence of assimilation effects (i.e., main effects of comparison model).
 
2
Note that participants also answered questions about future intentions to engage in COVID-19 related prevention behaviors (e.g., wearing masks, social distancing) and general beliefs, attitudes, and experiences related to COVID-19 (e.g., instrumental attitudes, risk perceptions; Ajzen, 2013; Rose & Edmonds, 2021; Tull et al., 2020). However, as these measures were not central to the thrust of this special issue, they are not described in detail here.
 
3
Given the role of political affiliation in COVID-19 vaccine uptake and other health prevention behaviors (Fridman et al., 2021; Grossman et al., 2020; Latkin et al., 2021), we additionally examined the moderating impact of political affiliation on our core results involving vaccine intentions, as well as how political affiliation might influence how similarly participants viewed the comparison target (based on condition). First, we submitted the perceived similarity to the comparison model to a 3 (Comparison Model: Cautious, Risky, or Neutral) X 2 (Mindset Priming: Similarity or Dissimilarity) X 3 (Political Affiliation: Republican, Independent, Democrat) between-subjects ANOVA. The main effect of political party affiliation was not significant (F = .42; p = .66). However, the comparison model X political affiliation interaction was significant, F(4, 281) = 12.67, p < .001, ηp2 = .15. Specifically, the most apparent pattern of findings related to this interaction was that participants who identified as Democrat rated themselves as more similar to the cautious comparison model, whereas participants who identified as Republican rated themselves as more similar to the risky comparison model. This result is not overly surprising, given that we used political affiliation as an additional cue to the social media target’s attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19. No other interactions of political affiliation with our core independent variables were significant (all Fs < .27, ps > .76). Second, we submitted VI to the same ANOVA. We found that participants who identified as Democrat had higher vaccination intentions than did participants who identified as Republican or Independent. However, and more importantly for our purposes, the interactions of political affiliation with our core independent variables were not significant. Taken together, these results suggest that political affiliation influenced how similar participants viewed the target person to themselves, but that this degree of similarity cannot account for our pattern of results for the vaccine intentions variable (due to the lack of comparable interaction effects involving political affiliation).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
The effects of social-media based social comparison information and similarity mindsets on COVID-19 vaccination uptake cognitions
Auteurs
Noelle K. Herzog
Harika Vasireddy
Dylan A. Drenner
Jason P. Rose
Publicatiedatum
06-05-2022
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Print ISSN: 0160-7715
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3521
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-022-00321-6