What Convinces College Students to Get Flu Vaccines?
Feb 24, 2014, 8:00 AM, Posted by Deborah Bae
What convinces college students to get flu vaccines? Read the latest in our efforts to apply behavioral economics to perplexing health and health care problems.
Almost every college student knows that getting sick while at school will have negative effects on their grades and social life. So why do so many students forgo flu vaccinations that are readily available at almost every college health center? Researchers at Swarthmore College tested three approaches to motivate students to get a flu vaccine: a financial incentive, a peer endorsement via social networks, and an email that included an audio clip of a coughing individual to convey the consequence of not getting the vaccine. The researchers found that students offered as little as $10 were twice as likely to get a flu vaccination.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.