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Vaccine refusal: a preliminary interdisciplinary investigation

Brakel, Linda A. W. and Foxall, Gordon R. ORCID: 2022. Vaccine refusal: a preliminary interdisciplinary investigation. Frontiers in Public Health 10 , 917929.

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Many people who generally receive standard recommended inoculations refuse to partake of COVID-19 vaccines, preventatives that are effective, safe, and life-saving amidst the current pandemic. Our quest is to understand this puzzling and dangerous phenomenon, as it exists among US and UK citizens, whom in other respects would be regarded as quite regular. We will discuss Vaccine Refusal compared with two better understood phenomena: addiction, and akrasia, along with the related matters of human action, intention, agency, will, and identity. Vaccine Refusal, we will argue, appears to be rewarded by “informational reinforcement” leading to heightened arousal, along with increases in self-esteem resulting from “bucking the trend,” asserting one's “superior” understanding, and “tribal identity” in acting against social norms. These factors provide an overall reward amounting to satisfaction that outweighs the well-known consequences of COVID-19 infections. Our investigations will also lead us to a pair of epistemological hypotheses about two subtypes of the Vaccine Refusers under consideration here.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2296-2565
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 17 June 2022
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 08:02

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