Published on 19 January 2021
Through her research, Dr Tracey Platt, a lecturer in Psychology, said an individual’s personality is a key influence on whether they comply with the Covid-19 rules imposed by the government and local authorities.
“Not being able to socialise for an extrovert is painful, but for an introvert, not interacting with others is heaven,” said Dr Platt. “It may also depend on a person’s attitude or need for risk and sensation seeking. These people will gamble and take risks if they think they can get away with it.
“If such people turned up to the shop and had forgotten their mask, they may risk going into a shop without, gambling with the risk of spreading the virus."
Dr Platt said it is important to consider the element of trust a person has in what the government is advising before understanding whether they are willing to follow government guidance.
She said: “If you believe Covid-19 does not exist and is a conspiracy, it is easier to not comply or go against what is being asked of you.”
The introduction of the government’s tiered system last year, which saw hospitality venues and non-essential businesses close in some areas, created a "last orders at the bar" phenomenon, Dr Platt said.
She explained: “When people are going into lockdown, they will go out and get their fill before the lockdown happens. This might contribute to super spreader events.”
Last year, the World Health Organisation reported that countries were seeing increasing levels of pandemic fatigue among their citizens after an increase in non-compliance with regulations designed to counter Covid-19.
Dr Platt said the amount of information the public consume is a key factor.
She said: “Psychologically there is a phenomenon on how much information one can absorb before it gets too much. So it's better to say as little as possible but information that is as accurate possible."
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