2020 Flu Shot Mega-Experiment by Behavior Change for Good Initiative
Behavior Change for Good Initiative (BCFG) will be working with the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit (PMNU) to test interventions designed to promote flu vaccinations among Penn Medicine patients. An array of studies designed by BCFG team scientists will be run simultaneously in the largest-ever experiment testing how to boost flu shot adoption. I worked as a research assistant helping with many critical tasks such as editing and organizing study proposals, conducting literature reviews, and searching funding organizations. The study will be carried out as planned throughout fall of 2020 during the flu season, and the data and qualitative analysis will be done in Spring 2021.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the experiment aims to identify the best persuasion tactic in terms of the cost effectiveness in increasing flu shot vaccination, and the insight from the studies will inform the vaccination effort for Covid-19 when the expected vaccines become available in the spring of 2021. Entirely based on interactive text messages, the research ideas proposed by these experts include the activation of prosocial behavior, the use of comedy and humor, the appeal to intergroup competition, and many other interventions informed by unique behavioral insights.
What a huge experiment! Are…
What a huge experiment! Are you going to be continuing in the fall? This is such an important flu season. As a college student, did any of the ideas for upping flu vaccine usage resonate with you? I'm curious if humor would work well for college students...
Wow, this is such a relevant…
Wow, this is such a relevant and interesting topic for our current climate! I'd love to know what you think would be the most successful tactic and if "guilting" students with a video or social media campaign could increase vaccine uptake.
Do you think that using …
Do you think that using "scare" or "guilt" tactics, like many anti-smoking campaigns do, is an effective method of getting people to follow health guidelines? In the case of getting flu shots, do you think that campaigns advertising the potential negative side effects of not getting the vaccine would be beneficial, or not effective?
Wow unique idea!
It's reallly interesting how you are using text messages to increase flu vaccinations. I am curious as to how successful this methodology has been in actually increasing the number of people who get vacccines? Are people really susceptivle to comedic messages to convince them to do something and if so, can this idea be implemented in other ways such as to decrease drug and alcohol use among children and teenagers?
This is super cool! I look forward to seeing the final results, especially given our current public health situation.
Knowing that young people are less likely to answer phone calls, I'm curious how they compare to their older counterparts when it comes to text messaging. Did you find any indication either in your own research or previous literature whether people tend to be less trusting of text messaging based on age? If so, how does that affect your work?