Overcoming Bias and Attitudes towards Vaccination

Despite evidence that vaccinations minimize and spread disease incidences, some individuals doubt the use of the vaccine and typically refrain from vaccination. The lack of security raises the risk that certain pathogens will attack populations and increases the cost of health care. One difficulty in convincing is to resolve the confirmation bias, where people selectively search for consistent proof that fits their original assumptions and beliefs. (2012 Christian). This biased knowledge search helps individuals to effectively analyze fresh information, but is often shallow. This study investigated the possibility of overcoming bias in the attitude of vaccination by offering disfluent information and anecdotal information on treatment safety through careful, analytic processing. Respondents were recruited from a general population with the highest beliefs of anti-vaccination.Introduction
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines help in controlling numerous infectious diseases which were initially frequent around the globe including pertussis, diphtheria, measles, and polio (Prematunge, 2013). Nonetheless, the recent past has recorded a steady rise in people refraining from vaccinations. Treatments effectively decrease the stress in users. Additionally, they safeguard those lacking enough protection. Getting a majority of people in in the community vaccinated reduces the possibility of an extensive epidemic because the contagion has problems spreading to the whole population. (Cummings, 2013) Based on this theory, higher refusal in vaccination decreases the 90% required threshold, making the Herd Immunity inefficient and allowing pathogens to attack communities. A general decline in the limit of 90% can result in formerly eliminated diseases to resurface. If conditions that were previously endemic are not averted through vaccination, they can form bases and recirculate. It is more costly to treat vaccine-preventable diseases than buying the vaccine itself. Past studies have indicated that it is 16 times more expensive to treat these conditions than pay for their vaccines (Richardson, 2014). People who develop vaccine-preventable disease incur a lot of unnecessary costs of health care annually. This study investigates the possibility if developing positive attitudes among people towards vaccination by providing disfluent and anecdotal safety information on immunization. Further, the study will explore to determine whether disfluency is more efficient than anecdotal.
Individuals have a strong attachment to their beliefs. Changing these beliefs consumes effort and time, and it is usually easier to ignore alternative views instead of embracing the current beliefs (Prematunge, 2013). This liking for existing ideas is the root of the confirmation bias, in which individuals look out and explain information that corresponds with their suppositions. Previous evaluations on the bias of confirmation have viewed as a heuristic or cognitive shortcut that makes complicated inferential tasks much easier (Cummings, 2013). Since people presume that their current perspectives are valid, those notions enable the review of new information. Nonetheless, the bias of confirmation may result in less desirable decisions due to lack of full consideration of evidence. This study examines how apparently irrelevant aspect of information-fluency may lead into people re-examining messages of previously developed attitudes and decrease bias effects of confirmation. Studies indicate that the effort related to disfluency induces a more extensive, critical and analytical processing of messages itself. Studies also suggest that the energy associated with disfluency causes an extensive, more critical and analytical processing of messages itself. Individuals are more probable to provide positive responses to trick questions which need thought and the rejection of a natural answer (Prematunge, 2013). By encouraging a metacognitive problem, disfluency can result into a more extensive processing of the message and less dependence on heuristic ways of processing. On the other hand, the simplicity that is brought about by fluency results into more use of heuristic thinking and other times more mistakes in judgment. Currently, no work has investigated whether disfluency or anecdotal is capable of influencing information processing where an individual has a pre-existing attitude, like in confirmation bias. This prediction was tested by two studies, with experimentally manipulated vaccination attitudes and pre-existing beliefs.
This survey is key because it can be applied to enhance the use of immunization to the advantages of people and the whole population by influencing their attitudes positively. Findings of the study can develop a better knowledge of opposition and skepticism of vaccine and how to overcome it. More expert knowledge on health regarding the particular procedure that leads anti-vaccination choices can assist to design vaccine-related campaigns and programs that can change the attitude towards the vaccine and promote wider use (Baumeister, 2017). Change in attitude towards vaccine can enhance the effectiveness of costs, decrease the present occurrence of disease and end the possibility of the return of old diseases.
Initially, a total of 1370 participants were recruited randomly. Once the completed data was selected, 1069 responses remained. The participants were informed that the research was being performed as part of a training exercise for students in the department of Psychology at Macquarie University. They were made to understand that the study was to determine whether certain forms of information would influence people_x0092_s attitudes towards vaccinations. The study was to last between 10 and 15 minutes to respond to questions. Participation in the survey was purely voluntary. The ethical elements of the study were approved by the Human Research Committee at Macquarie University.
Respondents were assigned to a disfluent or fluent condition at the start of the survey. All measures and instructions were recorded in a program on a computer within a private laboratory room.. First, the respondents completed a brief questionnaire on demographics where they indicated their age, gender, religious and ethnicity affiliation. Respondents reported their attitude towards vaccination on a 2-point scale, with 1- agree on one point and disagree on the other end. after they read facts about immunization. In the affluent state, the messages were displayed in the font of 12-point Times New Roman. In the disfluent state, the events were shown in the font of italicized Haettenschweiler to prompt processing difficulty. When they finished reading, participants were asked to answer 11 questions regarding the vaccination facts. They were to respond as to whether they agree or disagree with the protection points. Next the participants read phrases of parents narrating their experiences of vaccination on their children. After reading the paragraphs they also answered whether they agreed to the facts about vaccination or disagreed
Attitudes towards vaccine indicated a change in score across conditions. There was a remarkable variance in the three conditions. The impact was driven by the vaccination attitudes presented in the conditions. Anecdotal condition resulted in greater changes in the attitudes towards treatment. This change was higher than either the fluency or disfluency condition. The influence of disfluency condition was slightly larger than the fluency condition. The three dependent determinants indicated appropriate scale reliability, and therefore the mean of the objects was calculated to form one composite indicator of an agreement. The study predicts that disfluency can reduce the effect if confirmation bias if ideas were examined by applying multiple regression. no remarkable impact for fluency. Fluency was related to partisan bias to the vaccination facts and disfluency was linked to less partisan consensus. In regards to anecdotal condition, there was the greatest change in attitude following evidence advocating for vaccination. These outcomes indicate that statements or facts had the weakest influence, while narrative messages had the strongest influence and the existence of both kinds of messages had the biggest impact on attitudes towards vaccination. Participants who were provided with bias-knowledge were less affected by the study. Highly numerate people were mainly more responsive to the given information regardless of its format (Baumeister, 2017). These outcomes support the three hypotheses were contrasted to the partisan reasoning in the condition of fluent. There is less persuasion in the disfluent state. The anecdotal condition had the greatest belief.
The outcomes of the study offer proof that disfluency can reduce bias of ideas on a judgment of vaccination. When facts on treatment were displayed fluently, the participants_x0092_ opinion was highly polarized, corresponding with their previous attitudes. However, this confirmatory trend was decreased upon posting facts disfluently, indicating that the disfluency induced greater and more careful critical evaluation of the facts. Nonetheless, there are two significant limitations of the study. Since the bias was seen were previously developed attitudes, and there was no random distribution to respondents, it is likely that the effect seen was due to some self-selective aspect. Additionally, it is probable that the effect of disconfirmation seen within the disfluent condition resulted from ambivalence or disengagement towards the object, leading to a general regression in the direction of the usual reaction (Richardson, 2014). The anecdotal condition sought to solve this limitation by trying to manipulate previous bias and analyzing the role of cognitive resources and attention. Reducing the processing ease of facts decreased the effects of confirmation bias. The first evidence is that disfluency can influence information processing where a person has previous attitudes. The second evidence is that anecdotal can change opinion by relating to real vaccination narrations. Overall these outcomes suggest that altering the format of presenting facts can result to change in attitude by encouraging total consideration of opposite sides (Baumeister, 2017). Findings of this study show that knowledge regarding the risks faced by disregarding vaccination can be helpful in changing attitudes towards treatment. Furthermore, this study indicates that intervention messages can be more efficient than corrective messages purposed to eliminate negative attitudes towards vaccination. Future studies should explore the impact of the negative attitudes towards treatment. Indeed, numerous decisions of treatment will not occur immediately following educational interventions. This position calls for more studies to analyze the risk of backfiring and assessing the robustness and the longevity of overcoming confirmation bias when investigating vaccination attitudes (Christian, 2012).References
Baumeister, R. (2017). Social psychology and human nature. Belmont: Wadsworth.
Christian, S. (2012). Overcoming bias. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers.
Cummings, M. (2013). Attitudes toward vaccination in the event of an influenza pandemic and the characteristics of those likely to decline vaccination.
Prematunge, C. (2013). An Analysis of Healthcare Worker Attitudes & Barriers to Influenza Vaccination.
Richardson, D. (2014). Social psychology for dummies. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

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