Vaccination Acceptance Across Cultures: The Roles of Collectivism, Empathy, and Homophily

James M. Leonhardt, Todd Pezzuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


How does culture influence vaccination acceptance? This is an important question facing managers, policy makers, and global health organizations. Even with effective vaccines for highly contagious diseases, humankind remains at risk from vaccine hesitancy. The authors conduct a large-scale multilevel analysis of more than 400,000 survey respondents and find that COVID-19 vaccination intentions are higher among people from countries that are higher in cultural collectivism (Study 1). Follow-up studies indicate that vaccination acceptance is higher among people who endorse collectivistic values because they feel more empathy for those afflicted by the disease (Studies 2a, 2b, 3), especially when victims of the disease have characteristics (e.g., political affiliation, lifestyle, personality) similar to themselves (Study 3). To encourage vaccination acceptance, the authors suggest promoting collectivistic values and empathic concern, as well as homophily through the portrayal of victims with characteristics like those hesitant to accept vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of International Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • COVID-19
  • collectivism
  • culture
  • empathy
  • homophily
  • vaccine


Dive into the research topics of 'Vaccination Acceptance Across Cultures: The Roles of Collectivism, Empathy, and Homophily'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this