Universität Erfurt

Korn, Lars

Research interests

My research addresses the development and implementation of norms as a health communication strategy in the context of vaccination decisions. Vaccination has become the victim of its own success. Due to high vaccination rates, preventable diseases are rarely in the spotlight of public interest and subjective perceptions of the threat of infectious diseases decrease, which in turn can lead to decisions against vaccinations, lower the vaccination rates and, ironically, fosters the comeback of the disease. This underlines the necessity of effective communication strategies in order to sustain vaccination rates at a high level or increase vaccination rates which are too low. Previous research has examined possible interventions, however, aspects of norms and conformity are rather underrepresented. Although the importance of norms in the context of vaccinations is emphasized, the development of effective communication strategies that include norms have been acknowledged only seldomly. My research intends to fill this gap by transferring principles from norm and conformity research to the field of the vaccination decision. Hence, the final goal is the development of communication strategies that make a significant contribution to the collective goal of controlling and eradicating vaccine-preventable diseases.

Other research interests and projects

My scientific interests are health behavior and health communication. Currently, I am involved in the APACI project - vaccine communication using a cultural sensitive approach. Furthermore, I am part of the VACCCOM team, which develops a crisis-communication reference document for the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization. Moreover, I assisted writing a technical report on measles and rubella elimination and was an assistant in a project, which re-designed a vaccination information website of the Thuringian Ministry for Employment, Social Affairs, Health Care, Family and Women.

Other current and past projects.

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Betsch, C., Korn, L., Holtmann, C. (in press). Don’t try to convert the anti-vaccinators, instead target the fence-sitters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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