KU expert: two factors drive resistance to masks

A leading mental health expert at the University of Kansas Health System says the psychology behind whether people choose to wear a mask boils down to two key factors — inconvenience and vulnerability.

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October 16, 2020 - 10:32 AM

TOPEKA — A leading mental health expert at the University of Kansas Health System says the psychology behind whether people choose to wear a mask boils down to two key factors — inconvenience and vulnerability.

Lauren Lucht, executive director for behavioral and mental health, said vulnerability often triggers defense mechanisms in people to convince themselves everything will be fine.

“One defense mechanism as humans is to convince ourselves that bad things don’t happen to good people,” Lucht said. “In psychology, we call that belief in a just world. So, I think we’re in a bit of denial, and we don’t want to be inconvenienced for something we want to believe we’re at extremely low risk for catching and transmitting.”

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