Pro-Vaccine Messages Actually Backfire, Study Finds (NBC News)


A new study led by Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan suggests that public health messages aimed at increasing childhood vaccinations are actually having the reverse effect, reports NBC News.

The study found that the messages increased fears among wary parents, the article notes. “If these messages were working, they should increase the intent to vaccinate,” Nyhan, an assistant professor of government, tells NBC News. “This highlights the extent to which we tend to overrate how persuasive facts and evidence are in all kinds of domains.”

Nyhan and his colleagues studied the effectiveness of public health messages about measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) that were designed to reduce misperceptions and increase vaccination rates. The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics on March 3.

Read the full story, published 3/2/14 by NBC News.

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