​​The role of the Behavioural Immune System in vaccine hesitancy​

  • Tobias Magnusson

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


​​The present study investigated the influence of the Behavioural Immune System (BIS), personality traits, and minority status on intent to take the COVID-19 vaccine. 387 (50.7% ethnic minority) participants completed an online questionnaire during which they were randomly allocated into three groups and visually primed about disease, mortality, or placed in a control group. Participants’ attitudes towards vaccines, sensitivity to disgust, perceived vulnerability to disease, and big five personality traits were captured by this survey. Further, a monetary allocation task adapted from Faulker et al. (2004) was used to measure xenophobia as an outcome of BIS activation. Black ethnic minority participants, participants who had accepted a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and participants who held the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine is different from general vaccines showed significantly lower intentions to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Participants who had higher levels of perceived vulnerability to disease and participants who had a preference to the various COVID-19 vaccines showed significantly higher levels of intent to get vaccinated against COVID-19. No significant impact of the BIS was found.​
Date of Award28 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorEilish Duke (Main Supervisor) & Susanna Kola-Palmer (Co-Supervisor)

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