Can Cognitive Dissonance Help Spur Vaccine Uptake?

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the nation a year-and-a-half later, public health workers, leaders, and researchers alike are still grappling with ways to convince a large swath of Americans to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.

Even as cases and deaths decline nationally, states like Alaska continue to ration care as hospitals struggle with surges of largely unvaccinated patients with COVID-19. Currently, approximately 57% of the nation’s population is fully vaccinated, meaning at least 100 million more individuals have yet to receive the shot.

For these reasons, safety precautions like masking, social distancing, and encouraging vaccinations remain crucial to stamp out the virus. In a recent study published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology, researchers sought to increase compliance with coronavirus safety measures using cognitive dissonance as a guide, and their results yielded some promising conclusions.

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, we speak with Logan Pearce, a graduate student at Princeton University and co-author of the study, “Fostering COVID-19 Safe Behaviors Using Cognitive Dissonance.”


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