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HPV Vaccination and You


The overarching research question is to investigate whether message tailoring affects the uptake of the HPV vaccine in a young adult population. In the current pilot study investigators hope to effectively design internet-based HPV vaccine materials that are adaptable for specific tailoring in future research based on our results.


Aim 1: Compare the impact of fear appeals versus control messages on participants’ immediate HPV vaccine uptake behavioral intentions, and their longer-term actual vaccine uptake behaviors.

Aim 2: Determine which participant characteristics can help to increase vaccine uptake behaviors in the presence of fear appeals, in order to design effective tailored interventions.

Aim 3: Examine whether emotional responses mediate the above effects.

Hypothesis 3: We expect that more emotionally reactive participants will have internalizing emotional responses to fear appeals (e.g. anxiety, distress, fear), and that these emotional responses will be associated with more vaccine-compliant responses. In contrast, we expect that more logical participants will have externalizing emotional responses to the fear appeals (e.g. irritability, annoyance, anger), which will be associated with less vaccine-compliant responses.


At Time 1 (baseline) we recruit 400 participants (200 females aged 18-26 and 200 males aged 18 to 21 – the ages for which the HPV vaccine is approved) from MTURK, a website operated by, where people sign up for studies and other tasks for small payments. To be eligible, participants must be ≥18 years old and not have received any HPV vaccine doses prior to enrollment.