Research press release


Nature Human Behaviour

Purity, liberty and anti-vaccination



Avnika Aminの研究グループは、13歳以下の子を持つ米国の1100人の親たちを対象にオンライン調査を実施した。調査では、子どもへの予防接種に対する親の抵抗の程度が評価され、善悪の判断時にさまざまな道徳的価値をいかに重視するかが探られた。その結果、予防接種に強く抵抗する親たちは、自由や純粋さといった道徳的価値を重視する傾向が、予防接種に抵抗のない親たちと比べて2倍高いことが判明した(抵抗の少ない親たちにとって、自由とは、個人の責任、自由(freedom)、所有権、市民生活への国家の関与への抵抗といった考えと関連するものであり、純粋さに関する懸念は、境界的なもの、また汚れを避けることに関するものであった)。また、純粋さを重視する傾向は、予防接種に中程度に抵抗を覚える親たちについては、抵抗の低い親たちの2倍に上ることも明らかとなった。


Parents in the United States who are hesitant about vaccinating their children are strongly concerned with the moral values of purity and liberty, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Human Behaviour. The study suggests that information campaigns that incorporate these values, rather than focusing on ideas of fairness or preventing harm, may be more effective.

Despite information campaigns highlighting the individual and collective dangers of under-vaccination, reluctance to vaccinate children is a persistent issue among parents in the US.

Avnika Amin and colleagues conducted online surveys of 1,100 US parents of children aged under 13. The questions assessed the participants’ level of child vaccination hesitancy and explored how important different moral values were to them when deciding if something was right or wrong. The authors find that highly vaccine-hesitant parents are twice as likely to emphasize liberty and purity moral values compared with low-hesitancy parents (where liberty is associated with belief in personal responsibility, freedom, property rights and resistance to state involvement in citizens’ lives, and concerns about purity centre around boundaries and protection from contamination). They also show medium-hesitancy parents are twice as likely as low-hesitancy parents to emphasize purity.

The authors note that few studies have looked at the potentially powerful issue of moral values in relation to anti-vaccination sentiments. Although the results of their work are correlational - and therefore a causal link cannot be drawn - they suggest that investigating the moral foundations of people’s health decisions could be a fruitful area for improving public health communications.

doi: 10.1038/s41562-017-0256-5

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