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Increasing COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions Through a Local Government Vaccination Campaign. A Field Experiment on Psychological Ownership

Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen

The study is a randomized field experiment that investigates how a vaccination campaign can be implemented in spite of a decline in vaccination readiness.

  • Disziplin: Sozial, Psychologie
  • Forschungsmethode: Quantitativ
  • Forschungsdesign: Primärerhebung, Repräsentativ angelegte Befragung
  • Erhebungsstatus: Erhebung abgeschlossen, Ergebnisse veröffentlicht

Ziele der Studie

The study introduces the concept of psychological ownership to the public administration literature to enhance the theoretical understanding of individual felt ownership in the provision of public goods. The research group suggests that psychological ownership should improve the success of vaccination campaigns and thus, as the following research question: To what extent does psychological ownership affect the revealed intention to get vaccinated in a governmental vaccination campaign?


Based on a pre-registered, cluster-randomized field experiment in cooperation with a German municipality (Bad Nauheim, n= 27,298), the study tests the implementation of a psychological ownership intervention in letters from the municipality’s mayor to increase residents’ COVID-19 vaccination intentions.
The aim is at enhancing the current understanding by showing how generating a feeling of individuals’ ownership can be beneficial when facing problems stemming from the tragedy of the commons. Second, the study addresses the urgent calls of scholars for “real-world” tests of behavioral interventions to increase the number of residents intending to make up a vaccination appointment. The present approach offers a practical, low-cost, and easy-to-implement approach for public officials to tackle the prevailing issue of people failing to get life-saving vaccines for themselves and contribute to herd immunity in the context of COVID-19.


The data is not yet available for open re-use. Please contact the responsible person of the project.