Our study, entitled “Supplementing Survey-Based Analyses of Group Vaccination Narratives and Behaviors Using Social Media” is developing a new and complementary research methodology to better understand people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors related to vaccination.
Using sophisticated computer algorithms, demographic and geolocation identifiers, and the scale of Big Data, we will compare existing survey data to Twitter conversations about vaccination.
Our goal is to analyze these Twitter conversations with the same rigor and accuracy as we can currently analyze survey data. Not only is this methodology faster and less expensive than traditional survey research, but it will provide greater understanding of the relatively younger, more urban and more racially diverse users of social media, who tend to be under-represented in traditional survey data gathering.
Eventually, we hope to be able to analyze social media data with rigor in real time, overcoming a critical communication challenge for public health officials in evolving public health crises.
We are currently testing the methodology in the area of vaccination attitudes and behaviors, but encourage use of our technique for other public health issues.
Need some fast facts about social media? Click here.
Need more science-based info about vaccination and immunization? Click here.
We are funded from February 2015-2020 by a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), via award 1R01GM114771-01.