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Using Implementation Intentions Prompts to Enhance Influenza Vaccination Rates

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  • Milkman, Katherine L.
  • Beshears, John
  • Choi, James J.
  • Laibson, David I.
  • Madrian, Brigitte

Abstract

We evaluate the results of a field experiment designed to measure the effect of prompts to form implementation intentions on realized behavioral outcomes. The outcome of interest is influenza vaccination receipt at free on-site clinics offered by a large firm to its employees. All employees eligible for study participation received reminder mailings that listed the times and locations of the relevant vaccination clinics. Mailings to employees randomly assigned to the treatment conditions additionally included a prompt to write down either (i) the date the employee planned to be vaccinated or (ii) the date and time the employee planned to be vaccinated. Vaccination rates increased when these implementation intentions prompts were included in the mailing. The vaccination rate among control condition employees was 33.1%. Employees who received the prompt to write down just a date had a vaccination rate 1.5 percentage points higher than the control group, a difference that is not statistically significant. Employees who received the more specific prompt to write down both a date and a time had a 4.2 percentage point higher vaccination rate, a difference that is both statistically significant and of meaningful magnitude.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 8057976.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:8057976

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  1. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2008. "How are preferences revealed?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1787-1794, August.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  4. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  5. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Madrian, Brigitte & Milkman, Katherine L & Beshears, John & Choi, James & Laibson, David I., 2012. "Following through on Good Intentions: The Power of Planning Prompts," Scholarly Articles 8830778, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Alos Ferrer, Carlos, 2013. "Think, but Not Too Much: A Dual-Process Model of Willpower and Self-Control," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80019, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Nudges at the Dentist," IZA Discussion Papers 6699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Felipe Kast & Stephan Meier & Dina Pomeranz, 2012. "Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence on Self-Help Groups and Peer Pressure as a Savings Commitment Device," NBER Working Papers 18417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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