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Transparent communication about negative features of COVID-19 vaccines decreases acceptance but increases trust.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 07 20; 118(29)PN

Abstract

During the rapid development and rolling out of vaccines against COVID-19, researchers have called for an approach of "radical transparency," in which vaccine information is transparently disclosed to the public, even if negative information can decrease vaccine uptake. Consistent with theories about the psychology of conspiracy beliefs, these calls predict that a lack of transparency may reduce trust in health authorities and may facilitate the spread of conspiracy theories, which may limit the long-term capabilities of health authorities during and after the pandemic. On the basis of preregistered experiments conducted on large, representative samples of Americans and Danes (N > 13,000), the current study contrasts the effects of vague vaccine communication with transparent communication, which discloses either positive or negative vaccine features. The evidence demonstrates that transparent negative communication may indeed harm vaccine acceptance here and now but that it increases trust in health authorities. Furthermore, the alternative of vague, reassuring communication does not increase vaccine acceptance either and leads to both lower trust and higher endorsement of conspiracy theories.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus DK-8000, Denmark michael@ps.au.dk.Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus DK-8000, Denmark.Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus DK-8000, Denmark.Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus DK-8000, Denmark.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

34292869

Citation

Petersen, Michael Bang, et al. "Transparent Communication About Negative Features of COVID-19 Vaccines Decreases Acceptance but Increases Trust." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 118, no. 29, 2021.
Petersen MB, Bor A, Jørgensen F, et al. Transparent communication about negative features of COVID-19 vaccines decreases acceptance but increases trust. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021;118(29).
Petersen, M. B., Bor, A., Jørgensen, F., & Lindholt, M. F. (2021). Transparent communication about negative features of COVID-19 vaccines decreases acceptance but increases trust. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(29). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2024597118
Petersen MB, et al. Transparent Communication About Negative Features of COVID-19 Vaccines Decreases Acceptance but Increases Trust. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 07 20;118(29) PubMed PMID: 34292869.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Transparent communication about negative features of COVID-19 vaccines decreases acceptance but increases trust. AU - Petersen,Michael Bang, AU - Bor,Alexander, AU - Jørgensen,Frederik, AU - Lindholt,Marie Fly, Y1 - 2021/07/02/ PY - 2021/7/22/entrez PY - 2021/7/23/pubmed PY - 2021/8/7/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - health communication KW - transparency KW - trust KW - vaccine acceptance JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America JO - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A VL - 118 IS - 29 N2 - During the rapid development and rolling out of vaccines against COVID-19, researchers have called for an approach of "radical transparency," in which vaccine information is transparently disclosed to the public, even if negative information can decrease vaccine uptake. Consistent with theories about the psychology of conspiracy beliefs, these calls predict that a lack of transparency may reduce trust in health authorities and may facilitate the spread of conspiracy theories, which may limit the long-term capabilities of health authorities during and after the pandemic. On the basis of preregistered experiments conducted on large, representative samples of Americans and Danes (N > 13,000), the current study contrasts the effects of vague vaccine communication with transparent communication, which discloses either positive or negative vaccine features. The evidence demonstrates that transparent negative communication may indeed harm vaccine acceptance here and now but that it increases trust in health authorities. Furthermore, the alternative of vague, reassuring communication does not increase vaccine acceptance either and leads to both lower trust and higher endorsement of conspiracy theories. SN - 1091-6490 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/34292869/Transparent_communication_about_negative_features_of_COVID-19_vaccines_decreases_acceptance_but_increases_trust. DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -