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Inoculation Effects

  • By: Jonathan Matusitz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Coined by William McGuire in 1961, the model of inoculation effects—also known as inoculation theory—describes a process through which attitude transformation can be resisted during social interactions that involve cogent, persuasive messages designed to modify existing attitudes and behavior. In other words, the model of inoculation effects demonstrates how attitudes can be strengthened against counterattitudinal, persuasive messages. Inoculation effects are akin to laboratory or experimentally based procedures that intend to reinforce existing attitudes to reject persuasive communication even before those messages have been put forward.

Inoculation is designed and implemented through a strategic method. The method consists of giving subjects small doses of opposing perspectives, which allows these subjects to have greater immunity when facing these differing perspectives. The etymology of inoculation comes from the deliberate ...

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