How do tensions between moral values predict how likely we are to receive Covid-19 vaccination? Previous work suggests that moral foundations, particularly purity and liberty, relate to decisions to vaccinate. In addition, research on the moral trade-off hypothesis suggests value in exploring trade-offs between foundations. We conducted three studies across the pandemic: at the start of the vaccine rollout (Study 1, N = 170); during delivery (Study 2, N = 328) and 2 years later (Study 3, N = 388). We find that trade-offs between purity and care and between liberty and care are predictive of higher levels of vaccine reluctance—individuals who endorse purity or liberty more, relative to care, were more reluctant towards Covid-19 vaccination, less likely to have received a vaccine and have lower intention to get future Covid-19 vaccines. This research highlights the relevance of moral values, and trade-offs between them, in vaccine attitudes and decisions.

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Ahluwalia-McMeddes, A., Guthrie, S. & Taylor, C. 2024, 'Will you get vaccinated? Trade‐offs between purity, liberty and care predict attitudes towards Covid‐19 vaccination', European Journal of Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.3057

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Last updated: 03 June 2024
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