The unparalleled speed of COVID-19 vaccine development has necessitated an expansion of existing knowledge on vaccination decision-making. The current study explored (1) how cognitions and emotions shaped college students’ COVID-19 vaccination decisions, and (2) where vaccination-inclined and vaccination-hesitant students converged and diverged in their decision-making process. Seventy-seven students participated in 26 focus groups to discuss their complex thoughts and feelings regarding COVID-19 vaccination, offering a more nuanced understanding of COVID-19 vaccination decision-making that has not been fully captured by quantitative studies. Thematic analysis found that vaccination-inclined participants and their hesitant counterparts reported differential patterns of positive and negative emotions, systematic appraisals, and heuristics in decision-making. Future research should investigate the roles of hope and relief, non-health-related benefits of vaccination, social trust, and interpersonal influence in vaccination decision-making.
Chen N-TN, Kee K, Villalobos BT, Ortiz M, Lee H. Do cognition and emotion matter? A study of COVID-19 vaccination decision-making in college students. Health Psychology Open. 2023;10(1). doi.org/10.1177/20551029231179163
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