First Advisor

Wayne Wakeland

Date of Award


Document Type





Vaccination of children -- Public opinion, Immunization of children -- Public opinion, Vaccination of children -- Complications -- Risk factors, Critical thinking, Parents -- Decision making, Caregivers -- Decision making




Though popular opinion in the US is favorable toward vaccination, a growing hesitancy to vaccinate children threatens rates of uptake and coverage. In response, researchers now study psychological factors thought to influence vaccine-decisions, as having this information might be useful in addressing vaccine hesitancy in the clinic and beyond. The present thesis reviews evidence from this body of work, and shares results of a new study on the influence of analytic and intuitive thinking styles upon endorsement of childhood vaccines. In a national sample (N = 543), analytic thinking predicted endorsement alone and in the presence of covariates in a regression model, while intuitive thinking’s relation to endorsement in the model was statistically unclear, and so did not support or refute claims in the literature suggesting this association. Implications and limitations of results, as well as possible directions for future research are discussed in detail.


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Note: The author received Bachelor of Science in University Honors degerees in both Psychology and Anthropology.

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