Monday, November 29

Outgoing, Egocentric Men Are Less Likely To Comply With Covid Restrictions, Study Suggests | Coronavirus


People who do not comply with the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are mostly male, more outgoing and more likely to put their own interests above those of others, suggests a new study of behaviors internationally.

Researchers from the University of Sydney evaluated behaviors and attitudes towards Covid regulations in 1,575 people in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US between April and May last year, during the first wave of the pandemic.

Their study, published in the journal Plus one, found that about 10% of people reported not complying with the restrictions. These individuals had a less agreeable personality and were also less open to new experiences.

Sabina Kleitman, associate professor at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study, said non-compliance rates were fairly consistent across the four countries. “Ten percent is a huge number in the context of a pandemic,” he said.

Of the women surveyed, 92% reported complying with regulations, compared with 86% of men.

Noncompliants reported that they were more likely to leave home to meet friends or family, for religious reasons, because they were bored, or because they wanted to exercise their right to freedom.

“These four reasons… I think they contribute greatly to what is happening to us now. [in Australia]”Kleitman said, as in the case of Covid’s home-to-home transmission, as well as the anti-lockdown protests in Sydney last weekend.

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The researchers suggest that people who comply with the regulations are better informed about Covid-19, as they “reported greater use of official health and government sources of information than the group that did not comply with them.” Noncompliants “tend to be less likely to verify the actual legitimacy of a source,” Kleitman said. “They [also] they tend not to trust official sources and I think that’s a bit worrisome. “

People who complied with restrictions were more likely to positively cope with the use of strategies that included self-distraction, while rule breakers tended to resort to “denial, substance use, and lack of commitment to behavior.” , the researchers found.

Rule breakers also had lower measures of “openness / intellect,” a trait the researchers defined as the tendency to seek new experiences, and which is distinct from intelligence.

“It’s an interesting image that is emerging,” Kleitman said. “Especially when we take into account the intellect, the predisposition to seek new ideas, people who do not comply can have a difficult time looking for new ways to adapt.”

The non-compliant group was also more likely to perceive restrictions as a threat to individual freedoms.

Because the study was conducted during the first wave of Covid-19, the researchers note that compliance rates may have changed as the pandemic progressed and people may have become more complacent.

Kleitman said the study showed the need for specific public health measures to improve compliance. Because noncompliants are more likely to ignore moral obligations to others, messages directed at that minority can be helpful. “I think we have to channel that self-interest,” Kleitman said.

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“Perhaps the message to them should be how it benefits them: You are not going to infect yourself or your loved ones. It is not only good for society, exercising your moral responsibility, it is good for you. “

Other measures, such as education on how to identify misinformation or the direction of messages through a variety of digital platforms, could also be beneficial.

“The support that the government provides to people who are losing their livelihood is very important to enable people to comply,” added Kleitman.


www.theguardian.com

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