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Microvalence acquisition during COVID19; Valence of everyday objects

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Mental Health & Wellbeing, Social Impacts

Microvalence theory suggests that we experience particular emotions, albeit mild, towards everyday objects that surround us. According to the theory, microvalence emerges as a result of our use or encounters with the object in different contexts and situations. To better understand what microvalence represents and how exactly it is shaped, it would be useful to track ratings of an object since the very first encounter with it through some time of using this object in everyday life. Testing this is a problem: Finding a novel object and introducing it into people's lives is usually not quite plausible. But not in our times. Face masks, for example, until February 2020 were associated with hospitals and, maybe, people from Asia, as they use medical face masks a lot. But not with everyday life in a Western society. However, since February 2020 many people had to incorporate face masks into their daily lives - while others did not. Thus, we can use this opportunity to test an object - face masks - which was pretty rare (i.e., novel) until recently, and now is changing its function and place in our everyday lives. We can test the valence of face masks in people who are using them (users group) and compare to ratings by people who don't use them (non-users group).