Selfish male extroverts more likely to defy Covid restrictions, study says

·2-min read
Protesters march through the city centre during an anti-lockdown rally as an outbreak of the coronavirus disease - Reuters
Protesters march through the city centre during an anti-lockdown rally as an outbreak of the coronavirus disease - Reuters


Extrovert self-centred men are more likely to defy Coronavirus pandemic restrictions, a study has found.

Researchers of the University of Sydney analysed the behaviour of 1,575 people in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US during the first wave of the pandemic in April and May last year.

The results showed that 92 per cent of women did comply with the regulations, six per cent more than their male counterparts.

Those who refused to comply had less agreeable personalities, researchers found, according to a study published in the journal Plos One.

They were uninterested in the news and referred to official sources less than their restriction-compliant counterparts.

The non-compliant group was also found to be lower in intellect than those who were ready to observe the restrictions and also less interested in trying new experiences.

Members of this group were also more likely to cope with Covid by denying its existence or substance use.

They also displayed greater self-interest and disregard for their social obligations than those who were willing to comply with the regulations.

“Alarmingly, the non-compliant group were more likely than the compliant group to leave their home in the following week to meet friends/family, for religious reasons, because they are bored, and to exercise their right to freedom,” the study added.

Sabina Kleitman, the study’s author, said the overall average of 10 per cent non-compliance was consistent across all four countries.

“Ten per cent is a huge number in the context of a pandemic,” she told the Guardian.

Persuading people to comply is likely to require a change of approach, the study concluded.

“Framing public health messages to appeal to self-interest may also be more effective in promoting positive behaviour change amongst non-compliant people than appealing to social obligations and the need to protect others.”

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