Dr. Emma Buchtel was awarded Knowledge Transfer Funds for the 2020/21 academic year by the Committee on Research and Development at Education University of Hong Kong for the project “Mask Wearing Behaviors and Attitudes: Cultural and Individual Influences.” Primary investigator Dr. Buchtel will work together with co-investigators Dr. Priscilla Song, Dr. Joseph Walline, Dr. Li Man Wai, and Professor Laurence Wood, Dr. Buchtel to capitalize on their collective expertise in culture, health, and social judgment to identify the factors that are associated with positive mask wearing attitudes across different societies. They aim to translate these findings into a positive product: Fabric mask-covers designed to encourage positive social judgements and interactions, both within- and between-cultures. Does wearing a mask suggest to others that you are afraid and potentially diseased —or that you are considerate and doing your moral and civic duty? What moral meanings and cultural valences are invested in mask wearing in different cultures? Understanding such perceptions and challenges can help healthcare workers and policymakers in Hong Kong and around the world to know what factors will encourage mask-wearing among the general populace, and provide fun fodder for student-made applications of those factors into mask-cover designs.
The overarching goal of this knowledge transfer project is to translate current research findings and skills into a demonstration of how expertise in cross-cultural comparison can provide data-supported answers to these speculations, as well as actionable health recommendations. To produce and disseminate actionable suggestions for public health organizations in Hong Kong and the USA on barriers and encouragements for public mask wearing is also one of the project’s practical objectives.
Grant details: “Mask Wearing Behaviors and Attitudes: Cultural and Individual Influences” (Aug 3, 2020 – May 31, 2021), HK$100,000, EdUHK Knowledge Transfer Funds (KT-2020-2021-0019), PI: Emma E. Buchtel. Co-Is: Priscilla Song, Joseph Walline, Li Man Wai, Laurence Wood.