Social and behavioral consequences of mask policies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Cornelia Betsch
  • Lars Korn
  • Philipp Sprengholz
  • Lisa Felgendreff
  • Sarah Eitze
  • Philipp Schmid
  • Böhm, Robert
Mandatory and voluntary mask policies may have yet unknown social and behavioral consequences related to the effectiveness of the measure, stigmatization, and perceived fairness. Serial cross-sectional data (April 14 to May 26, 2020) from nearly 7,000 German participants demonstrate that implementing a mandatory policy increased actual compliance despite moderate acceptance; mask wearing correlated positively with other protective behaviors. A preregistered experiment (n = 925) further indicates that a voluntary policy would likely lead to insufficient compliance, would be perceived as less fair, and could intensify stigmatization. A mandatory policy appears to be an effective, fair, and socially responsible solution to curb transmissions of airborne viruses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
Pages (from-to)21851-21853
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 245574042