This Sunday night, NBC will be hosting a special "Roll Up Your Sleeves" program hosted by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife and singer, Ciara, to encourage Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 . The program will feature President Biden, along with Barack and Michelle Obama, and a smattering of other high-profile celebrities such as Charles Barkley, Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, and, not least, Dr. Anthony Fauci. This campaign has already been met with both enthusiastic support and hostile skepticism in the Twitter-verse, and invites the question: just how effective are celebrities at persuading us to engage in health-relevant behaviors? To back up a bit, one commonly applied psychological theory in the domain of public health has been the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991, a former UMass mentor of mine!) which specifies three primary ingredients that, in combination, increase intention to enact a particular health behavior, which in turn increases the likelihood of the behavior itself: a positive attitude toward the behavior (i.e., finding it desirable) a perception of behavioral control over engaging in the behavior (i.e., the perceived ability to do it) social norms in favor of such a behavior (important others and/or ingroup members… Read full this story
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