Personality and individual attitudes toward vaccination: a nationally representative survey in the United States

15Citations
Citations of this article
55Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

Background: Although past studies have identified factors associated with individual perceptions of vaccination, limited attention has been paid to the role of personality in individual attitudes toward vaccination. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of personality as measured by the Big Five personality traits on individual attitudes toward vaccination using a nationally representative survey in the United States. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 3276 American citizens who were aged 18 and above and lived in 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. from the American National Election Studies. The survey was collected through face-to-face and online interviews using structured questionnaires in 2016. The multistage stratified cluster sampling procedure was used for face-to-face interview, whereas the USPS DSF was used to select the sample for online interview. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression was used to assess how personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience) as main explanatory variables influence the outcome variables – individual attitudes toward health benefits of vaccination and support for school vaccination. Results: More than two-thirds of respondents perceive health benefit of vaccination and support vaccination requirements for school entry, whereas about one-tenth of respondents have safety concerns about vaccination and oppose the vaccination requirements. After adjusting for ideology, insurance status, and demographic variables, the traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability remain significantly associated with attitude toward vaccination; conscientiousness is significantly associated with support for school vaccination. The odds of reporting health benefits of vaccination associated with one-point increase in agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability are 1.05 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.01–1.08), 1.05 (95% CI = 1.02–1.09) and 1.03 (95% CI = 1.00–1.06), respectively. For a one-point increase in conscientiousness, the odds of supporting school vaccination increase by 1.08 (95% CI = 1.05–1.12). Conclusions: People high in agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability are more likely to regard vaccination as beneficial, whereas those high in conscientiousness are more likely to support school-based vaccine requirement. This study highlights the importance of personality in shaping individual attitudes toward vaccination. More research is needed to understand the role of personality in individual health attitudes and behavior.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Lin, F. Y., & Wang, C. H. (2020). Personality and individual attitudes toward vaccination: a nationally representative survey in the United States. BMC Public Health, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09840-w

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free