Despite more of the population staying at home as government policies on COVID-19 become stricter, a study has found that a person’s personality influences how likely they are to stay at home during the pandemic – and cannot be entirely overridden.
Extroverts…were most likely to break lockdown rules, and stayed at home less than people of any other personality type during March and April
A team of psychology researchers from Cambridge, Columbia and Harvard Universities surveyed over 101,000 people in 55 countries to find out whether they were staying at home because of coronavirus between late March and early April 2020. The results are published today in the journal American Psychologist.
The researchers found that extroverts are least likely to follow official guidance to stay at home. The team suggest that tailoring public health messages towards the more extroverted in society could encourage greater overall compliance in populations and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Extroverts are gregarious and sociable, and they found it especially hard to stay cooped up at home and not see other people. They were most likely to break lockdown rules, and stayed at home less than people of any other personality type during March and April,” said Friedrich Götz, a PhD researcher in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, and first author of the report.