Age-related framing effects: Why vaccination against COVID-19 should be promoted differently in younger and older adults.J Exp Psychol Appl. 2021 Jul 22 [Online ahead of print]JE
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging healthcare systems worldwide and is causing numerous deaths. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal; however, the majority of the public must be willing to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity. By considering postulates of message framing and socioemotional selectivity theory, this study investigated the effects of gain-loss framing on younger and older adults' reactance arousal, attitudes toward the coronavirus vaccination, vaccination intention, and recognition performance. In a 2 × 2 online experiment in October 2020, 281 participants received textual health information about future vaccination against COVID-19 with either gain- or loss-framed messages (Factor 1). Half of the participants were aged 18-30 years, and the other half were 60 years and above (quasi-experimental Factor 2). Among younger adults, we found an antagonistic pattern of effects: While loss framing positively influenced vaccination attitudes and led to stronger vaccination intentions, it simultaneously decreased recognition accuracy. In contrast, there was no framing effect on attitudes and intentions in older adults, which might be a consequence of the positivity effect. These findings can be interpreted as a first step to uncover the interaction of age and framing in the coronavirus pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).