Perceived longevity of mRNA technology increases support for Covid-19 vaccines

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Longevity bias, COVID-19, persuasion, vaccine hesitancy


Among the reasons for Covid-19 mRNA vaccine hesitancy are the vaccines’ relative newness and, consequentially, concerns about their risks and safety. In this research, we address these reasons by manipulating the perceived longevity of the technology underlying mRNA Covid-19 vaccines (i.e., how long participants think these technologies have been in existence). An internet sample of American adults (N = 433) was shown one of the two versions of a timeline of medical events with ‘creation of mRNA vaccines’ placed to its left or right. The placement of mRNA vaccine creation on the left-end of the timeline resulted in Covid-19 mRNA vaccines being judged as older and - when participants' vaccination status was accounted for - better. Participants’ vaccine status did not moderate the impact of longevity on vaccine support. Implications and limitations are discussed.


This article was published with support from the Open Access Publishing Fund administered through the University of Arkansas Libraries.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.