Public conspiracy beliefs prevent various social institutions including governments from communicating effectively. Fostering effective communication with high conspiracy belief individuals, who often disregard important public health messages, is crucial. This study investigated whether war framing could be used to effectively communicate with highly suspicious individuals. Specifically, it used an online experiment with 398 Korean citizens to examine how war-framing effects vary based on individual differences in general conspiracy and government-related conspiracy beliefs in the COVID-19 vaccination context. The results generally showed that literal messages were more effective for low conspiracy belief individuals while war-framed messages were more effective for those with high conspiracy beliefs. Additional analysis indicated that general conspiracy and government-related conspiracy beliefs were negatively associated with individuals’ vaccination attitudes and intentions. This study concludes by discussing the practical implications of its findings for health communication involving highly suspicious individuals.
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© 2022 SAGE Publications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- General Social Sciences