Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J R Soc Interface. 2012 Sep 7;9(74):2234-43. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0115. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

The influence of altruism on influenza vaccination decisions.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. eshim@pitt.edu

Abstract

Game theory is based on the assumption that individuals act according to self-interest and make decisions that maximize their personal payoffs. To test this fundamental assumption, we conducted a survey study in the context of influenza vaccination decisions. Contrary to the assumption of self-interest, we found that altruism plays an important role in vaccination decisions. Nevertheless, altruistic motivation has not yet been considered in epidemiological models, in predictions of vaccination decisions or in the design of vaccination policies. To determine the impact of altruism on the adherence to optimal vaccination policies and on resulting disease burden, we incorporated altruism into a game-theoretic epidemiological model of influenza vaccination. We found that altruism significantly shifted vaccination decisions away from individual self-interest and towards the community optimum, greatly reducing the total cost, morbidity and mortality for the community. Therefore, promoting altruism could be a potential strategy to improve public health outcomes.

PMID:
22496100
PMCID:
PMC3405754
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2012.0115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center