Elisa Colì Maurizio Norcia Giada Pavanello Loredana Gavrila Larissa Bigiordi

Social representations, thoughts and emotions around anti-Covid-19 vaccines. An exploratory study in Italy

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


This study investigated the social representation’s structure built up around the anti Covid- 19 vaccine, as well as people’s perceptions and the role of emotions. It involved 648 Italian through an ad hoc questionnaire. A semantic differential articulated on 10 pairs of adjectives was used to explore vaccine-related cognitions and emotions, while the social representation was collected and defined following the structural approach and the free association method, by using EVOC 2005 software. The representations held by people who associated positive or negative emotions with the vaccine were compared using the |² test. The findings revealed that the anti-Covid-19 vaccine social representation is structured around the idea of the vaccine as protection and as a safe tool to defeat the pandemic, as well as around the hope that drives people to vaccinate. Emotions seem to play a significant role; in particular, the frequency of the words protection and science is significantly higher for people who associate positive emotions with the vaccine (p < .001), whereas the words obligation, uncertainty, and fear are typical of people who associate negative emotions with the vaccine. Results provide helpful elements for vaccination campaigns, also considering the power of social representations in orienting people’s behavior.


  • Covid-19 vaccine
  • social representation
  • emotions
  • central core theory
  • health behaviors


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat