Persuading Others to Avoid Persuasion: Inoculation Theory and Resistant Health Attitudes

J. Compton, Ben Jackson, James A. Dimmock

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    89 Citations (Scopus)


    Inoculation theory, a theory of conferring resistance to persuasive influence, has established efficacy as a messaging strategy in the health domain. In fact, the earliest research on the theory in the 1960s involved health issues to build empirical support for tenets in the inoculation framework. Over the ensuing decades, scholars have further examined the effectiveness of inoculation-based messages at creating robust positive health attitudes. We overview these efforts, highlight the structure of typical inoculation-based health messages, and describe the similarities and differences between this method of counter-persuasion and other preparatory techniques commonly employed by health researchers and practitioners. Finally, we consider contexts in which inoculation-oriented health messages could be most useful, and describe how the health domain could offer a useful scaffold to study conceptual issues of the theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number122
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2016


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