COVID-19 Anti-Vaxxer Phenomenon
The refusal to accept vaccines as a viable solution for the prevention of COVID-19 deaths is an astonishing phenomenon that has negatively impacted initiatives aimed at addressing the pandemic’s negative impacts. The first possible explanation for the behavior is group polarization, where specific beliefs and ideas grow strong when like-minded individuals engage in discussions (Myers & DeWall, 2019). It feeds extremism as the people involved self-segregate leading to intense polarization. They consequently promote false ideas about the vaccine as they recruit others to support their cause.
America’s emphasis on individualism is to blame for the prominence and growth of anti-vaccination campaigns. Society has grown to trust and act on personal feelings while being true to oneself. This has led to selfishness, self-indulgence, and the complete erosion of moral restraint (Myers & DeWall, 2019). Therefore, individuals refuse to get vaccinated because the activity is not satisfying, and it does not facilitate the expression of their true identity.
In addition, individuals prefer to make their own decisions rather than adhere to government directives. The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias where individuals overestimate what they know and underestimate the extent to which they do not understand a subject (Myers & DeWall, 2019). It plays a critical role in widely held beliefs on vaccination and has been implicated in people’s refusal to accept vaccinations because they believe in their capacity to supersede expert knowledge.
A marketing campaign that adheres to specific psychological principles is likely to succeed in achieving the organization’s goals. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing vaccine hesitancy is essential. With reference to the Dunning-Kruger effect, marketing teams should recruit social influencers to promote the vaccines. This is because individuals who believe they know more than medical experts tend to believe celebrities and other non-expert sources.
Reciprocity is a psychological principle that highlights how people tend to help those that help them. Therefore, the marketing company’s public service campaign must demonstrate how it is giving a service that will reward the clients. This will foster cooperation and positivity among individuals who are compelled to give as much as they receive. Applying psychological principles in public initiatives is an effective way of improving vaccine consumption.
Myers, D. G. & DeWall, N. (2019). Exploring psychology (11th ed.). Worth Publishers.