Being vaccinated for love or despite fear of vaccination? The influence of priming on vaccination intention among young French people
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University of Paris, Paris, France
Southern Brittany University, Lorient, France
Submission date: 2021-07-21
Final revision date: 2021-10-07
Acceptance date: 2021-10-16
Online publication date: 2021-11-29
Publication date: 2021-11-29
Health Psychology Report 2022;10(1):31–36
In France, despite fear-based communication by the authorities and the media, vaccination against COVID-19 has received little support from the population. For a young population often convinced that severe forms of the disease affect older people, we hypothesized that communication based on the idea of love would be more effective than communication based on fear of vaccination.

Material and methods:
In a convenience online French sample (N = 480, M age = 19.4), vaccination intention was asked after fear priming, love priming, no love/prejudice priming, or a control condition. Participants also reported their fear of vaccination against COVID-19, and the recommendation they would make regarding vaccination of a loved/unloved person.

Vaccination intention was higher in the love condition than in the fear and no love/prejudice conditions. Surprisingly, fear of vaccination was lower in participants who were presented with fear-inducing questions.

Implications of these results are discussed in relation to the fear of vaccination and the transpersonal value of the idea of love. The results suggest that COVID-19 is experienced as a threat both to oneself and to those one loves most. Therefore, calls for fear in the media and on social networks seem less likely to motivate a young population to vaccinate than the reminder of intense emotional ties to loved ones.

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