Department ofAfrican American Studies

Ray Block’s recent paper, “The Self Appraisal of Masking Instrument,” got published in a special COVID-19-related issue of Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences. 

In response to growing political polarization regarding disease-spread-mitigation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and leveraging polling evidence from a nationally representative survey, Dr. Block and his coauthor developed the very brief Self Appraisal of Masking Instrument (or “SAMI”). Public health officials come to understand that masking hesitancy (like vaccine hesitancy) is not a simple reflection of scientific understanding but is rooted in social and political identities.  Their series of questions are informed by social identity theory, and we believe this approach is both original and useful in understanding the contemporary polarization of mask wearing.

Analyses of SAMI’s properties confirms that the instrument has promise. They further suggest that this approach is applicable well beyond masking, and we encourage its adaptation by other scholars to a wide range of health behaviors.

If you are interested, here is a link to the paper: