Wearing Masks Has No Effect on Everyday Social Exchanges

Wearing Masks Has No Effect on Everyday Social Exchanges
In the past couple of weeks, a new study has been released based on a previous study from 2012 discussing how masks alter social interactions. Since the pandemic's beginning, masks have been blamed for slowing social development in children and for being detrimental to the social interactions of people from all age groups.

In 2012, psychology researchers at the University of Kansas and Wellesley College found that mask-wearing had "had no effect on the ease, authenticity, friendliness of the conversation, mood, discomfort or interestingness" among student interactions.

The reason for basing the most recent news on a study from 2012 was that masks became highly politicized during the pandemic. It's now impossible to carry out a similar study because there is so much political, social, and health meaning attached to wearing a face mask. However, wearing masks does not end normalcy or interrupt social interaction when stripped of political and social significance.

The study was carried out on 250 university students and found that, at least among this age group, wearing masks did not make conversations awkward, unfriendly, or otherwise. The research wasn't used at the time because the data seemingly revealed nothing. However, with the recent changes towards mask-wearing attitudes, this data has suddenly become very relevant - even though there was no change in attitudes.

While the research may be a decade old, the findings are relevant today. Masks do little to impact social interactions, and especially for everyday interactions, they make minimal impact. Want to check the research out? You can do so here.
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