Driving a red light, breaking parking rules, etc. A review of 10 studies examining deviant behavior such as Researchers argue that this is not just an accident, that mask use in China raises moral awareness and therefore encourages some people to obey the law more.

“We found that in China masks function as a moral symbol that reduces the wearer’s deviant behavior,” says Jackson Lu, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of the published paper.

As Lu and his co-authors point out, many factors can influence behavior, not just masks. Overall, when comparing mask-wearers and non-wearers, they estimate that mask-wearing explains about 4 percent of the observed variance in deviant behavior.

According to Lu, a competing hypothesis is that masks can “raise people’s moral consciousness” when worn. “If it is a moral symbol that symbolizes the moral duty and virtue of protecting others and sacrificing personal comfort for the sake of collective well-being, then perhaps wearing a mask can encourage a person to choose the morally correct course of action.” it adds.

Source: Ferra

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