Experts at MIT have furthered the literature on COVID-19 suggesting that in China wearing masks can influence how people act, including if they will act ethically.
According to the study released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in light of deviant behavior, masking-wearing may decrease the risk of performing such behavior compared to those who do not wear masks.
The MIT experts also suggested that in China using masks increases moral awareness and decreases dissociality.
“The researchers conducted 10 separate studies in China to tackle the issue empirically,” a news release of the findings state. “In one study, for example, they analyzed traffic-camera recordings of an intersection, and found that pedestrians and cyclists who were wearing masks were less likely to run red lights, compared to those who were not wearing masks.”
“We found that masks, in China, function as a moral symbol that reduces the wearer’s deviant behavior,” one co-author of the study concluded.