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Liz Foote Maui July 9, 2020

I came across this article by Cass Sunstein (“Nudge”) about the role of personal identity surrounding the issue of mask-wearing (or lack thereof…). It references the iconic “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign as well as Dan Kahan’s research indicating that peoples’ beliefs and understandings are often “identity protective.” According to Sunstein, so many people are refusing to wear masks because of their sense of identity and “their understanding of what kind of person they are, and of the groups with whom they are affiliated. It follows that appeals to adopt responsible practices are unlikely to work unless they take group identity into account.” The article links to a number of other sources, including an open-access paper by Kahan.