Antireligioznik exaggerated the consequences of accidents and diseases

Vaccination opponents tend to exaggerate the consequences of negative events, the scientists found. In two experiments they asked 267 to estimate the damage to various diseases, accidents and large-scale disasters: an exaggeration of such damage were positively correlated with the level of skepticism about mandatory vaccinations. Article published in the journal Vaccine.

At the time, the development of vaccines have helped to stop several major epidemics: for example, measles, which until 1963, when a vaccine was developed, were dying every year about 2.5 million people. However, around the world, people continue to get sick, seemingly defeated the disease and is largely to blame systematic failures on vaccinations.

The main argument of the opponents of vaccination — damage that allegedly vaccinations can cause mental and physical health of children: for example, antireligioznik believe that a complex vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), which is administered to young children, may cause them to have autism. Argument “for” the following are regarded as the results of one study involving 12 children, conducted in 1998, and that’s where good arguments “against” (article on this study has been withdrawn from the magazine, as well as disproving the studies polumilliona samples) antitreponemal already ignored.

The reason for this relationship to vaccination (in the English language for it is the term “vaccine skepticism”) can be features of thinking: obviously, for example, that the opponents of vaccination, in reality, tend to exaggerate the harm that vaccination can cause. Check out this decided mark Lacour (Mark LaCour) and Tyler Davis (Tyler Davis) from Texas tech University. In the first study, they interviewed 158 volunteers: they were asked to name the approximate number of victims of different events and common diseases. Their number includes, for example, smallpox, syphilis, breast cancer, car accidents, suicides, tornadoes, and lightning strikes.

The difference between the real and the alleged number of victims, scientists have identified the magnitude of the error count. It turned out that less precision in the estimates is positively correlated with how much participants are sceptical to the vaccinations (coefficient of 0.39, p < 0.001). Moreover, the opponents of vaccination have tended to exaggerate the number of victims of the analyzed events (with a weight of 0.34, p < 0.001).

In the second study, 109 participants were asked to estimate the approximate statistics not only negative, but more neutral events: the number of homes sold, the Pope visits U.S.-born children and held weddings. People skeptical of vaccination, as exaggerated statistics, but only for events with negative impact (coefficient — 0,2, p = 0,014).

From the editor

It is necessary to clarify that the sample study is quite small, therefore, judged that antitreponemal directs that tendency to exaggerate, is impossible. However, 267 is still more than 12.

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