To Mask or Not to Mask?: Public Opinion Factors in Mask-wearing Behavior in a Pandemic




Rausch, John David
Rausch, Mary Scanlon

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The present research seeks to understand who wears a mask in a pandemic. Two surveys of students at a regional public university in the American Southwest were administered in October 2020 and October 2021. The online survey, distributed to students in both traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms and online classes, asked about mask-wearing habits. Respondents also were asked about their ideology and political party identification as well as traditional demographic questions. Comparing two years of survey responses adds an element of change, especially since COVID regulations in Texas changed during that time. Party identification clearly is the most important factor in mask-wearing behavior in 2020. By 2021, an examination of mask-wearing behavior becomes more complex and nuanced.


This paper was presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in San Antonio.


Political Science, Masking, Survey, COVID-19, Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, Cornette Library


Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, San Antonio, January 13-15, 2022

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