Cultural traits or social norms? Both responsibilism and norms linked to accepting COVID-19 vaccine

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We studied the factors that influence attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine by testing 1872 people across 29 provinces in China. We investigated an individual trait (responsibilism) and two situational factors (a descriptive norm and an injunctive norm). Responsibilism is a version of collectivism that emphasizes tight social ties and responsibilities in close relationships. Responsibilism and perceptions of strong social norms predicted acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine. The data also revealed an interplay between responsibilism and social norms. People high in responsibilism accepted the vaccine regardless of social norms. But people low in responsibilism were wary of the vaccine, unless they perceived strong injunctive norms. These findings contribute to the research on psychological factors behind vaccine hesitancy. The findings could help provide a roadmap for public health efforts to encourage vaccines.

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Social and Personality Psychology Compass



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