Vaccine Hesitancy and the Paradox of Choice

Source: Quillette
by Andrew Glover

“One of the underlying messages to the public is that, when it comes to getting a COVID vaccine, we have choices. The assumption appears to be that it’s better to give people more choices than less. Instead of having just one generic vaccine available, we have several products for people to choose from. It’s assumed that those who might be hesitant about a particular brand of vaccine will simply choose an alternative. But is it really true that more choice will lead to better outcomes? … The ‘paradox of choice’ — a phenomenon observed by psychologist Barry Schwartz — suggests that giving people more choice can also reduce their wellbeing. Increased choice can lead to hesitancy, where people may postpone or neglect to make a choice, in part because they don’t want to make the wrong choice.” (06/02/21)