Vaccine skeptics are more susceptible to quiet persuasion than shaming | #socialmedia


Anxious to stem the spread of the coronavirus, many governments are making life increasingly difficult for citizens who are not vaccinated. French President Emmanuel Macron said bluntly his policy was to “piss off” unvaccinated people until they felt obliged to have a jab; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has wondered aloud whether Canada “should tolerate these people.”

Vaccine skeptics see such an approach as an attempt to shame them into accepting inoculation. And experts say that sometimes that tactic backfires. “When you tell people what to do and that they should feel bad for not doing it because it’s hurting the team, one reaction … is, ‘well, I’m not on that team,’” says Gregory Huber, a Yale professor who has studied vaccine takeup.

Other times, shaming has worked – in persuading people not to drink and drive, for example, or to give up smoking. But rather than ridicule vaccine skeptics, governments hoping to change their minds would do better to try quiet persuasion, health care expert Stephanie McClure suggests. “It’s about engaging in respectful dialogue,” she says.

Why We Wrote This

Some governments are trying to stem the pandemic by shaming unvaccinated citizens into getting jabbed. Some say respectful dialogue might be more persuasive.

Toronto and Paris

When French President Emmanuel Macron said last week that his pandemic policy was intentionally to “piss off” the unvaccinated – a small minority of the population whose “civic-mindedness” he also called into question – he knew he was on safe political ground. A wide majority of French voters are also frustrated by those who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.

But if his goal was to shame those holdouts into rolling up their sleeves, it backfired with René-Charles Fleurisson, who instead went to a demonstration over the weekend demanding that Mr. Macron should be “everybody’s president.”

“It’s either we accept or we refuse, and if we refuse, we’re made to feel outside society,” says Mr. Fleurisson, braving wind and a cold winter drizzle in central Paris. The protest was one of dozens held in France Saturday that drew 100,000 people angry at what they call the increasing harassment of unvaccinated people.

Why We Wrote This

Some governments are trying to stem the pandemic by shaming unvaccinated citizens into getting jabbed. Some say respectful dialogue might be more persuasive.

At this point in the pandemic, a sense of global disappointment and uncertainty seems pervasive as COVID-19 case numbers skyrocket – despite the high vaccination rates in many parts of the globe that most national leaders see as essential. Some jurisdictions find themselves back in lockdown as hospitals are once again overburdened.

Where incentives and tighter restrictions have failed to convince everybody to get vaccinated, some leaders and their citizens are funneling their frustration into public blaming. But if shaming can sometimes be a motivating tool, it can also backfire by entrenching people into their own camps – especially at a time when social cohesion is as fragile as it currently appears in many countries.



Original Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

46 − forty four =