A portrait of a typical violator of antiquity measures has been compiled

A portrait of a typical violator of antiquity measures has been compiled
A portrait of a typical violator of antiquity measures has been compiled

A study in the US, UK, Australia and Canada found that people who knowingly violate the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus have certain common characteristics and motivations.

Protesters against new restrictions

Anti-coronavirus restrictions that have been introduced and sometimes continue to be introduced practically around the world are due to political, systemic and epidemiological factors. However, their success, as time has shown, depends on the people themselves.

Scientists have previously identified demographic and behavioral factors that influence adherence to antiquated measures, such as gender and educational level. The authors of the new study - psychologists from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales - decided to focus on a person-centered approach, which recognizes sample heterogeneity and suggests identifying groups of people with similarities. The results of the work are presented in the PLOS One magazine.

The pandemic has formed a type of behavior that can be characterized as pro- and antisocial. For example, sometimes the situation in the world provoked individualistic and competitive sentiments: one can recall purchases made in panic and hostile disagreements over Covid passports in the West. At the same time, shared problems developed a sense of cohesion and altruism, which include donations and helping others.

“Our goal was to identify subgroups in the general population with similar behaviors and attitudes towards Covid-19. In addition, we examined the differences between the identified subgroups (that is, between those who obey the new rules and those who do not) in a comprehensive selection of factors based on several disciplines of psychological sciences. We also aimed to gain a holistic view of compliance behavior,”said the scientists.

To identify the relationship between all of the above, scientists asked 1,575 respondents from four English-speaking countries (USA, UK, Australia and Canada) to explain how they displayed pro- and antisocial behaviors over the past week (the study was conducted in the first "wave" of the pandemic, in March -April 2020). Participants also talked about themselves, their ability to make decisions, adapt, resist, political and cultural views and where they got their information about the coronavirus from.

The results showed that women were about 50% more likely than men to agree and comply with recommendations to wash their hands and avoid crowded areas. Representatives of the so-called stronger sex, on the other hand, were more likely to understand the need for therapeutic measures, such as vaccinations. Those who were more likely to comply with the measures introduced in their country (90% of those surveyed) were often young, educated, or at risk of coronavirus. In addition, they were more anxious, but more productively coping with stress and anxiety, shifting their attention to something else (work or watching movies, for example) and making plans. They also believed that the authorities make the right decisions.

Another group - violators of restrictions (10% of respondents) - included mainly men, less compliant, responsive and attentive, not so intellectually developed, not willing to try new things and rather extroverts. Such people put their own freedom and interests at the forefront and, contrary to prejudices, were not young.They tended to have less confidence in government and official sources of information, denied what was happening, and often misused drugs. At the same time, they more often left home to go to the store, train, work or just meet with friends or relatives, explaining this by the right to freedom of action and boredom.

“Representatives from all four countries surveyed showed remarkable consistency. Amazingly, it was not just young people who fell into the group of non-compliance with restrictions. At the same time, the youngest agreed with the introduced measures. Thus, our conclusions contradict the stereotype propagated in the media about young indifferent party-goers who disregard restrictions. The picture we found was more complex,”the study authors noted, adding that although the percentage of respondents who followed the recommendations was high, the timing of the survey - the first wave - should be considered. As the pandemic drags on, people become more self-confident, so the dissent rate is likely to rise.

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