Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gabriella Pinter

Committee Members

Istvan Lauko, Jeb Willenbring


Vaccination behavior can be influenced by many factors. Some examples are vaccine scares, evolutionary game theory, social learning such as media coverage, feedback in the form of infectious cases, and herd immunity. We investigated a previously published model that attempts to explain vaccination behavior based on a game theoretic point of view. The model was applied to a large vaccine scare in the country of Samoa, and a parameter estimation problem was solved for different risk perception scenarios. It was found that the model fit best in the case of no social learning and no feedback. However, adding in these factors did not compromise the models' accuracy. These results confirm that while social learning and feedback may not completely describe vaccinating behavior they are important factors in individuals' decisions to vaccinate or not.

Included in

Mathematics Commons