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argumentation;ethos;rhetoric;trust;vaccine hesitancy


Christopher Tindale



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


There is no shortage of research implicating trust as a central concern for addressing vaccine hesitancy, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, healthcare professionals have long called for increased resources and training to address the issue. However, despite this long-standing problem, and its recent foray into the social consciousness, there is still a significant lack of resources for resolving this issue. This thesis aims to address this deficit. I offer a practical framework for healthcare practitioners, public health officials, and vaccine manufacturers for managing both trust and its related, but distinct, counterpart: distrust. This framework involves demonstrating (rather than arguing for) trustworthiness through three factors long cited in the interdisciplinary literature concerning trust: ability, benevolence, and integrity. After situating myself regarding the issue, highlighting why I am drawn to the topic and its continued importance, I develop this framework across four chapters. Firstly, I review the literature that connects this issue to trust, and related philosophical theory concerning this concept. Secondly, I offer a cross-disciplinary examination of trust and what it involves, separating it from various concepts to show how it is related yet distinct from distrust. Thirdly, I take these observations as grounds for a framework for managing trust and distrust in interpersonal relationships. Lastly, I synthesize these chapters to offer a practical approach to tackling vaccine hesitancy regarding trust and distrust rather than merely the former.

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