DOI: 10.1177/19485506231189905 ISSN:

Patience Predicts Attitudes Toward Vaccination and Uptake of Vaccines

Ho Fai Chan, Stephanie M. Rizio, Ahmed Skali, Benno Torgler
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Vaccination is a pressing public health issue. We hypothesize that impatience (discounting future benefits of current actions) leads to lower vaccination rates and worse attitudes toward vaccines. In preregistered individual-level Study 1 ( N = 2,614), we document a positive and quantitatively small association (standardized coefficient = 0.06) between patience and attitudes toward vaccines. In Study 2 ( N = 76), national-level patience accounts for 21% of the global variation in COVID-19 vaccinations; patience’s effect is small-to-moderate (standardized coefficient = 0.19). In duration models (Study 3; 4,180 ≤ N≤ 9,973), more patient countries more quickly reach high COVID-19 vaccination thresholds. The results generalize beyond COVID-19: Patience among European subnational regions predicts better attitudes toward vaccination against the 2009 swine influenza (Study 4: Nregions = 138; Ncountries = 17). Finally (Study 5, N = 75), our results are not specific to pandemics: National patience explains the global variation in infant vaccinations.

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