New research from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences indicates that fear-based messaging may result in mixed effects when it comes to public health.
The Tuskegee syphilis experiment. The secret sale of Henrietta Lacks cancer research cells. Jim Crow laws affecting African Americans’ ability to receive medical treatment. For weeks, it’s been hard to hear over the clamor of millions of Americans lining up for COVID-19 vaccines. But not everyone has been enthused — namely, large swaths of minority communities, which comprise the populations disproportionately impacted by the virus, but whose hesitance is largely fueled by the country’s racist medical past.
Anyone who’s on social media right now has probably seen them: Passionate pleas from health care workers, asking for the public to realize how bad the COVID-19 pandemic has gotten, and urging them to take steps to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But do these first-person posts from the heart actually have any effect? A new study suggests so.