Friday, May 27, 2016

The Andy Taylor approach to convincing vaccine "skeptics"

While writing my last post I was reminded of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show, the County Nurse (1962), in which Andy convinces Rafe Hollister to get a tetanus shot. If you haven't seen it, it involved some reverse psychology and a sad song that Andy said he might sing (if he "aint too broke up") at Rafe's funeral (after he dies from tetanus because he didn't get the shot).


And to further illustrate the point of my last post, while searching for this video online I stumbled upon this disturbing piece by a "natural health blogger and food freedom activist" who is worried about this "disturbing forced vaccine push" by Sherriff Taylor.

Julie Adams, The Andy Griffith Show, "The County Nurse," 1962
Rafe Hollister gets a tetanus shot
But as it turns out, Andy may have been onto something: Reminding people about the terrible diseases that vaccines prevent, and their consequences, appears to be a successful way to convince vaccine "skeptics":
“It’s more effective to accentuate the positive reasons to vaccinate and take a non-confrontational approach — ‘Here are reasons to get vaccinated’ — than directly trying to counter the negative arguments against vaccines,” said Keith Holyoak, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and a senior author of the study. “There was a reason we all got vaccinated: Measles makes you very sick. That gets forgotten in the polarizing debate on whether the vaccine has side effects...”
“People who are skeptical about vaccines are concerned about the safety of their children,” said Derek Powell, a UCLA graduate student in psychology and co-lead author of the study. “They want their kids to be healthy. That’s also what doctors want. Instead of fighting their misconception, remind them why the vaccine is the best way to keep their kids safe...”
“Try not to be directly confrontational,” Holyoak said. “Try to find common ground, where possible, and build on that.” 
That said, it may sometimes be tough to find common ground with an extreme minority who believe mandatory vaccines are a form of "medical terrorism."
Note: This post is part of a series on vaccines.

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