Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, preventative health behaviors have been encouraged as the way to beat this virus. In addition to increasing handwashing, face coverings or masks have become a part of our daily lives. It is important to understand when people are most likely to wear a mask in order to be able to help encourage everyone to partake in this behavior. We looked at the effects conformity had on mask usage. In a survey, we described a scenario with different numbers of people in a group wearing a mask and asked the participants to decide if they would or would not wear a mask. We found that people were significantly less likely to wear their mask in a group of people not wearing a mask than a group of people wearing masks. Therefore, group norms are a large factor in the decision to wear a mask.
Bates, Kathryn; Rodenbaugh, Robert J.; and Wiesner, Autumn, "An Exploration in Health Behavior: Conformity and Mask Usage" (2020). Fall Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. 48.