A taxonomy of reasoning flaws in the anti-vaccine movement

Vaccine. 2007 Apr 20;25(16):3146-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.01.046. Epub 2007 Jan 18.


In a scholarly analysis of widely held misconceptions, Gilovich provides a classification scheme of common flaws in reasoning seen in contemporary society. He broadly categorizes these flaws as having cognitive determinants or in having motivational and social determinants. In this survey, the authors examine the various claims against routine childhood and adult vaccines as made by the more public and more organized entities of the anti-vaccine movement as well as those made apparent by surveys of parents and other groups of individuals. The claims illustrate the breadth of reasoning flaws while providing a basis for anticipating and correcting them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Parents
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy*
  • Refusal to Participate / ethics
  • Refusal to Participate / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Refusal to Participate / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Refusal / statistics & numerical data
  • Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Vaccines / supply & distribution
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Vaccines