People who don’t wear masks or refuse to socially distance share personality traits with sociopaths, a new study finds. Researchers from the State University of Londrina in Brazil found that people who scored low on empathy and high in callous behavior and risk-taking were less likely to comply with COVID-19 protective guidelines. These so-called antisocial traits are marks of people who tend to act in their own self interest and don’t care if they put others at risk of getting the virus, the researchers claimed.
According to CNBC, the American Psychological Association says these traits are characteristic of those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, defined as “a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others.” The disorder affects 1% of the U.S. population and is more common in men.
Men are also reluctant to wear masks for other reasons, say studies.
According to BBC News, a recent analysis on male behavior by researchers at Middlesex University and the Mathematical Science Research Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, found that men were not only less inclined to wear masks but they considered them “shameful, not cool and a sign of weakness.” On the other hand, women were twice as likely to say they’d wear masks outside their homes.
“Men are less inclined to wear a face covering, and one of the main reasons is that they are more likely to believe that they will be relatively unaffected by the disease,” said the scientists, according to BBC News, adding that the irony of this logic is that the coronavirus impacts males more seriously.
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