Date of Award
Science, Technology and Society
Jesse Van Gerven
The current study looks at the assumption that that more information, along with improved access to that information could lead to more informed decisions through evaluating and critically reflecting on the vaccine debate. The research is done through the perspective of Science, Technology, and Society - an interdisciplinary field that analyzes the connection between scientific advancement and its implications on the world. This research seeks to replicate previous studies’ which simple search engine websites were used to look at the websites people, including parents, are likely to encounter when they are researching information on vaccinations. This research seeks assess how and why it is that this debate continues to impact human behavior today. The research questions at hand are: What sort of information is the general public exposed to on popular search engines regarding the vaccine debate? How scientifically reliable and credible is this information? Answering these questions will allow for reflection on other questions, including: How does society benefit from the debate? How does society suffer? Through literature review this paper will explore the role that the Internet plays in the vaccination debate. The expected result is that the harder one looks into the controversy the more conflicting information one finds. The findings of this research suggest that more information and improved access to that information does not necessarily lead to better decision making, but rather leads to confusion and need for additional research because so much information exists on the Internet.
Rhinesmith, Madeline, "To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate: A Qualitative Description of the Information Available on Popular Search Engines Regarding the Vaccine Debate." (2016). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 343.