Parental Decision Making about Mandatory Childhood Vaccination

Parental Decision Making on Childhood Vaccination



Dr Kaja Damnjanović, University of Belgrade, Serbia


Communications Officer: Loes Vingerhoets
Project Manager: Žan Lep
Scientific quality manager: Tero Pulkkinen
Chief programmer: Sara Morales
Publication Manager: Sandra Ilić
Implementation manager: Wing Yi Lam
Lead data analyst: Johanna Graeber



The decision on childhood vaccination is one of the most important concerns a parent encounters. Unlike a few decades ago, parents today are “socially forced” to have an opinion and to make the decision about this immensely important health-related issue. At the same time, parents are not forced to make an informed decision, nor are they protected from intensive and explicit societal influences of both normative-medical and lay-experience form. Anti-vaccination movements are on the rise, and the bursts of vaccine-preventable diseases have been linked to their activities. Our focal point is vaccine hesitancy and how it is conveyed via cognitive mechanisms. We will set up two related studies: first, we will measure parents’ childhood vaccination decision and test a set of both psychological and societal correlates. In the experimental study, we will measure parents’ susceptibility to outcome bias. The basic idea of this project is to describe and understand parental decision making in order to contribute to psychological immunization against the anti-vaccination.


Suggested readings and supplementary materials

Miton, H., & Mercier, H. (2015). Cognitive obstacles to pro-vaccination
beliefs. Trends in cognitive sciences, 19, 633-636. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.08.007

Goldenberg, M. J. (2016). Public Misunderstanding of Science? Reframing the
Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy. Perspectives on Science, 24(5), 552-581.
doi: 10.1162/POSC_a_00223

General and technical information, data and more publications on immunization from the WHO

Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

How Risky Are Vaccines?

TED Talk, “The power of herd immunity”

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