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Behavioral Economist Syon Bhanot Explains Opposition to Mask Wearing, How to Encourage Pro-Social Behavior

Syon Bhanot smiling against white background

Over the past several weeks, Assistant Professor of Economics Syon Bhanot has appeared on podcasts and in other media outlets to help explain why some Americans are so adamantly opposed to wearing masks in public and what can be done to encourage more pro-social behavior in the fight against the coronavirus. Bhanot’s research centers on field experiments that use behavioral science concepts to influence decision-making, with a focus on issues related to public policy, development, and poverty.

“We really lean on the behavior of others around us,” Bhanot says in an interview with the nonprofit news organization Marketplace, “because if we think about every single decision as one you have to rationally think through the costs and benefits, you would never get anything done in a day.”

Planet Money Podcast: Mask Communication

Education Dive: Sex, masks and parties: Can colleges actually change student behavior?

The Takeaway: Why Are People So Angry About Wearing Masks?

Marketplace: No mask? Behavioral scientists on how we make pandemic decisions

WSKG: Business Owners To PA’s Governor: Please Police Mask Requirement So We Don’t Have To

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