China: The use of face masks for medical reasons in China has made people behave more ethically, a new study has found.
A joint study by scientists from the US and China reviewed 10 studies on deviance. These behaviors included not stopping at a red light at a signal, violating parking regulations and extortion for money.
The study revealed that people who covered their faces with masks were less likely to engage in unethical behavior than those who did not.
Researchers said that this is not accidental. In China, the use of masks increased moral awareness among people, so some people became more law-abiding.
Jackson Lu, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a co-author of the study, said the study found that masks in China act as a moral symbol that reduces the mask wearer’s deviant behavior does.
Jackson-Lu and his co-authors make clear that multiple factors can influence attitudes, not just the mask. Overall, the researchers estimated that when they compared mask wearers and non-mask wearers, there was about a four percent change in mask wearers’ deviance.