The measles is a serious disease caused by a contagious virus. Contracting the measles virus and developing the symptoms can be prevented with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Most schools and workplaces require individuals to be vaccinated against the measles, but they can be exempt for medical, religious, and personal reasons. The fear that the MMR vaccine caused autism dissuaded individuals from vaccinating their children from the measles. The present study aims to evaluate the factors that influence the risk perception of autism and measles, and examine their effects on vaccine and medical decisions. Analysis showed there was no significant difference between the MMR vaccination decisions when presented with either the benefit or risk of the vaccine. Although my hypothesis was rejected, I am glad to see the disproven risk of autism has not lessened the credibility of the MMR vaccine. For future research, the MMR vaccine decision should be expanded on. Instead of trying to manipulate the vaccine decisions, a larger sample size of anti- vaccinators should be examined. With a larger sample, vaccinators and anti- vaccinators can be evaluated for the values and ideas they share because they are both trying to avoid one thing: risk.


Wilhelms, Evan




Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Cognition and Perception | Health Psychology | Psychology


Risk Perception, Vaccines

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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