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The Effects of Mortality Salience and Influence of Conspiracy Beliefs on Reactions to Vaccine Hesitancy

Byrne, Evan (2023) The Effects of Mortality Salience and Influence of Conspiracy Beliefs on Reactions to Vaccine Hesitancy. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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The present study examined the potential effects of mortality salience on reactions to COVID-19 vaccine hesitant individuals depending on COVID-19 vaccination status. It also examined the predictive influence of general conspiracy beliefs on reactions to vaccine hesitant individuals in relation to other potential predictors. Research has shown mortality salience to increase punishment for those who threaten their worldview and values. It has also been suggested that conspiracy beliefs are associated with vaccine hesitancy. This study aimed to apply these findings into the context of the COVID-19 pandemic regarding the punishment and restrictions of the vaccine hesitant. A total of 90 participants completed questionnaires on their attitudes towards vaccine hesitant people and their conspiracy beliefs before being randomly allocated to a mortality salient or neutral condition. Then participants were asked to place fines on a vaccine hesitant rule breaker and were measured on their support for restrictions regarding a vaccine hesitant profile. Results found that mortality salience did not have an effect nor was it mediated by vaccination status, however there was a difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated fines and support for restrictions. Conspiracy beliefs did not significantly predict fine amounts or support for restrictions however age and attitudes did. Implications of the present study and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Fox, Robert
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > Errors, inventions, etc. > Conspiracy theories
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Tamara Malone
Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 15:58
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 15:58

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