The University of Michigan psychologist ponders the decisions people make about masks and vaccinations

ANN ARBOR, me. – Starting Saturday, Michigan lifted mask requirements for most indoor and outdoor areas for fully vaccinated residents. The move complies with the newly issued guidelines of the CDC.

There’s no way of telling who’s and who’s not vaccinated, which puts Michigan residents on an honor system. A University of Michigan researcher spoke to Local 4 about how to make the right choices and trust people around you to do the same.

There is growing concern that more people are choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID.

“It depends on the type and format of information people are receiving. So sometimes we’re pretty good and sometimes we’re really not that great, ”said psychologist Josh Ackerman.


Ackerman is a researcher at the University of Michigan. He specializes in how people make decisions in times of crisis. He said that all people use mental abbreviations that are only as good as the information they have. He said that when official sources like the CDC or other experts lose people’s trust, it is often difficult to separate the good from the bad.

“Education is going to be less important than the quick heuristics and quick judgments you make, and it really boils down to the information you have in front of you,” said Ackerman.

He said some things work, incentives can sometimes work, and targeted ads with better information can work too. One thing that doesn’t work is shame.

“We just don’t see this as a really great strategy. In fact, it tends to really lift the walls between people, ”Ackerman said.

Ackerman said we just have to wait and see what people decide.


READ: Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking: New Store Openings, Clinics, Appointments

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