Tuesday, June 9, 2020

This is How They Plan to Nudge You Into Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

None other than, Mr. Nudge himself, Cass Sunstein recently put out a tweet supporting a 2013 study by Cornelia Betsch, Robert Böhm and Lars Korn.
Sunstein in addition to being the author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness was  Director to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

If you study his book carefully, you can seen that Sunstein had major influence with the TSA on through most government agencies on how to herd people like sheep to get them to do what the agencies want them to do.

Thus, it should not be taken lightly that he is highlighting the Betsch, Böhm, Korn paper, which is titled, Inviting free-riders or appealing to prosocial behavior? Game-theoretical reflections on communicating herd immunity in vaccine advocacy.

Yup, it is an overly academic title to a paper that in simple English means: How government can get people to get vaccinated.

If you read the paper, it is very shallow work but that is beside the point. If Sunstein is promoting it, there is a very good chance that it will be adopted as part of the COVID-19 vaccine promotion.

What does the paper say?

Here is the abstract:
Objective: Vaccination yields a direct effect by reducing infection, but also has the indirect effect of herd immunity: If many individuals are vaccinated, the immune population will protect unvaccinated individuals (social benefit). However, due to a vaccination’s costs and risks, individual incentives to free-ride on others’ protection also increase with the number of individuals who are already vaccinated (individual benefit). The objective was to assess the consequences of communicating the social and/or individual benefits of herd immunity on vaccination intentions. We assume that if social benefits are salient, vaccination intentions increase (prosocial behavior), whereas salience of individual benefits might decrease vaccination intentions (free-riding). Methods: In an online-experiment (N = 342) the definition of herd immunity was provided with one sentence summarizing the gist of the message, either making the individual or social benefit salient or both. A control group received no information about herd immunity. As a moderator, we tested the costs of vaccination (effort in obtaining the vaccine). The dependent measure was intention to vaccinate. Results: When a message emphasized individual benefit, vaccination intentions decreased (free-riding). Communication of social benefit reduced free-riding and increased vaccination intentions when costs to vaccinate were low. Conclusions: Communicating the social benefit of vaccination may prevent free-riding and should thus be explicitly communicated if individual decisions are meant to consider public health benefits. Especially when vaccination is not the individually (but instead collectively) optimal solution, vaccinations should be easily accessible in order to reach high coverage. (APA PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
In other words, they are going to shame people into taking the vaccine. You see, it is not about protecting yourself, it is about protecting society.

I can see the "public service" announcements now. It will be a mellower version of:
Are you the evil person that won't take the Bill Gates vaccine to protect society?
This, by the way, is pretty much how the measles vaccine is promoted. Not only do you expose your children by not having them get the vaccine but you add exposure for the 3% for whom the vaccine does not work.

Of course, you are never told the risk-reward ratio of these vaccines and what happens if you don't take them. It is all about Cass Sunstein sheep herding sheep propaganda.



  1. Given that the instance of life threatening complications from Covid among the young and healthy is still rare enough to make the news each time it happens, I'm left wondering how that unfortunate fate compares to complications that sometimes arise from vaccines.

    If the frequency is even in the same ballpark then I would hope at least some honest medical professionals catch on sound the alarms.

  2. Now you all listen to Mama Cass. (Sorry - couldn't resist - apologies to the late Miss Elliot)

  3. At some point, not having the chip/card/tatoo will prevent a person from being able to partake in various aspects of life. The restrictions will increase until a person is completely locked down.