New article at PCL

An article co-authored by PCL members has just been published in Group Processes & Intergroup Relations!

Who believes in conspiracy theories about vaccines? What does national narcissism have to do with reluctance to vaccines?

Answers to these and other questions can be found in our newest paper, written together with researchers from Social Relations Research Centre at SWPS University, Political Psychology at Kent and Institute of Psychology at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

The entire text can be found at the journal's website: National narcissism and support for voluntary vaccination policy: The mediating role of vaccination conspiracy beliefs

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between vaccination hesitancy and the way people feel about their national groups. Antivaccination attitudes are associated with conspiracy beliefs, which have been linked to group-based defensiveness. Thus, we hypothesized that defensiveness about one’s national identity, operationalized as collective narcissism measured in relation to one’s national group, might be related to antivaccination attitudes. We found that national narcissism, but not national identification, predicted support for a voluntary vaccination policy both in a general population sample (N = 361) and among visitors of antivaccination discussion forums (N = 178). In two further studies involving national quota samples, national narcissism was also related to vaccination conspiracy beliefs (N = 1,048), and these beliefs mediated its association with support for a voluntary vaccination policy (N = 811). By highlighting the link between antiscience attitudes and collective narcissism, we demonstrate that group defensiveness can be linked to support for decisions that may undermine the health and well-being of present and future ingroup members.