Around the world and within the U.S., the percentage of people wearing masks during the Covid-19 pandemic has varied enormously. What explains this? A new study co-authored by an MIT faculty member finds that a public sense of “collectivism” clearly predicts mask usage, adding a cultural and psychological perspective to the issue.
The study uses a series of datasets about mask usage and public attitudes, along with well-established empirical indices of collectivism, to evaluate the impact of those cultural differences on this element of the pandemic response.
“Our data both within the United States and across the world shows that collectivism is a strong and important predictor of whether people in a region wear masks or not,” says Jackson G. Lu, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a new paper detailing the results. [Read more…] about Study: Culture influences mask wearing