How Wearing Face Masks Affect Behavior? Study Finds


How Wearing Face Masks Affects Behavior

Psychology News

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explored how wearing face masks affects behavior. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Study

The research team conducted 10 separate studies in China to assess mask-wearing behavior. For instance, in one study, the researchers analyzed pedestrian or cycling behavior that involved wearing a mask, running red lights, violating parking rules, and cheating for money.

The Findings

The results revealed that the consequences of using masks for health reasons are far greater than previously thought of. Mask-wearing affects behavior and social conduct positively. In fact, it was found that people wearing face masks are less likely to behave deviantly than those who were not wearing a mask.

The authors of the study elaborated: “Mask-wearing explains a meaningful but reasonable proportion of the variance. We’re talking about likelihoods here. If it’s a moral symbol that symbolizes the moral duty and virtue of protecting others and sacrificing one’s personal convenience for the collective welfare, maybe masking can lead the individual to choose the morally right course of action.

To Know More You May Refer To

Lu, J. G., Song, L. L., Zheng, Y., & Wang, L. C. (2022). Masks as a moral symbol: Masks reduce wearers’ deviant behavior in China during COVID-19. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America119(41), e2211144119.

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