WABI reports on Ruben’s coronavirus-related selfie research

WABI (Channel 5) reported on University of Maine professor Mollie Ruben’s request for selfies from the public for her coronavirus-related research. Ruben, an assistant professor of psychology, wants to explore people’s social perceptions and biases related to face masks, and a #Selfie4Science will help. She’s building a database of people with and without face masks for a study that will have important implications for business, health care, education and interpersonal relationships. For this initial portion of the project, Ruben, director of the Emotion, Pain, and Interpersonal Communication (EPIC) Lab, is gathering photographs and people’s basic demographic information. In the second part, she’ll ask people to make first-impression judgments about the photographs. “We are going to be going out in public more often and we’re going to be coming into contact with more strangers and even people who we know that are wearing face masks,” she said. “And so how do the face masks affect our initial first impression of these people when we go into a store for the first time and somebody in the business isn’t wearing a face mask versus someone who is.” To take part, upload a photograph of yourself in a face mask to the University of Maine Face Mask Database. About 50 people have submitted selfies so far, according to WABI. News Center Maine also reported on Ruben’s coronavirus-related selfie research. WFVX (Channel 22) also highlighted the research.