Antisocial traits linked to lower coronavirus safety adherence, researchers say

A new study from Brazil found that people with antisocial traits are less likely to follow coronavirus containment measures.

Traits like callousness, deceitfulness, hostility and risk-taking typically present themselves in people diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, researchers explained. These traits are associated with rule-breaking behavior like criminality and violence, they wrote.

The study, by researchers from State University of Londrina and São Francisco University, was recently published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Researchers found that “lower levels of empathy and higher levels of callousness and risk-taking, are directly associated with lower compliance with containment measures.” (iStock)

CORONAVIRUS SURVIVORS PLAGUED BY LONG-TERM AILMENTS

Researchers hypothesized that those with “higher levels of antisocial traits” and lower empathy would “show more difficulty in adhering to the containment measures.”

“Exposing oneself and others to risk, even when it can be avoided, is a typical trait for people with antisocial tendencies, and with low levels of empathy,” study authors noted.

The study involved 1,578 Brazilian adults who responded to questions about compliance to containment measures and virus testing.

“Our findings indicated that antisocial traits, especially lower levels of empathy and higher levels of callousness and risk-taking, are directly associated with lower compliance with containment measures,” study authors wrote.

They concluded that these traits explain, in part, why people continue to disregard containment measures even amid rising cases and deaths. The findings were said to confirm previous literature on the association between personality traits and adherence to coronavirus containment measures.

“Our findings can be useful for public health policies [such as] screenings that demonstrate an elevation in these traits, interventions can be carried out aiming at greater awareness and consequent compliance with containment measures,” authors wrote.

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