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Can Altruistic Emotions Promote Vaccine Advocacy? Examining the Use of Empathy and Elevation in Vaccine Messages

, Emily Moyer-Gusé
Published: 22 November 2021

Abstract: This study examines the effectiveness of evoking other-oriented emotions in vaccine messages to promote vaccine advocacy behaviors. A between-subject experiment with a parent sample was conducted, in which portrayals of a victim exemplar (someone who is suffering from the consequence of vaccine hesitancy) and a moral exemplar (someone who is selflessly helping others) were varied. Results showed that the victim exemplar led to greater empathy, and the moral exemplar led to greater elevation, both of which predicted vaccine advocacy responses. Implications of the findings and future directions were discussed.
Keywords: behaviors / empathy / Messages / vaccine advocacy / emotions / hesitancy / evoking / oriented

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