It’s embarrassing when you get ridiculed
A series of studies have shown that sarcastic anti-vaccination memes have been able to increase the number of applicants for COVID-19 in the UK.
As scientists explained, memes are interesting in that they can be distributed and processed quite quickly. And that means they can influence people. So, memes often belittle or ridicule certain groups of people or their beliefs. The scientists wanted to know if this could lead some people to rethink their views.
The researchers studied 1584 residents of the United Kingdom. They were divided into two groups. The experimental group viewed a series of eight vaccine-related Internet memes, while the control group viewed regular images.
After viewing the images, the participants were asked if they were going to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A pooled analysis of six studies found that exposure to memes increased participants’ intention to get vaccinated.