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25th Aug 2020

Not wearing a face mask is linked to sociopathic traits, study finds

According to a new study, not wearing a face mask, and not engaging with other COVID-19 safety measures, are signs of antisocial personality disorder

Alex Roberts

The study examined over 1,500 people

According to a new study, not wearing a face mask and not engaging with other COVID-19 safety measures are signs of antisocial personality disorder. In other words, they show sociopathic traits.

Although it seems like a lifetime ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic back in March. Ever since, authorities across the globe have implemented a range of safety measures to try and stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These have ranged from two-metre social distancing to full-scale lockdowns. COVID-19 is transmitted extremely easily, which is why these measures were deemed necessary. However, it has been the wearing of face masks which has arguably courted the most controversy.

Some see wearing a face mask as an affront to freedom and personal liberty. Numerous anti-mask protests have been held worldwide, including in London.

Studies have proven that ‘containment measures’ such as face masks are the best method for reducing the Coronavirus infection rate.

Now, it also appears that refusing to wear a face mask could be indicative of a sociopathic personality.

A study conducted in Brazil found that people who were non-compliant with safety measures such as wearing face masks showed “lower levels of empathy, and higher levels of callousness, deceitfulness, and risk-taking”.

Taking a risk with your own health is quite something, let alone someone else’s.

Scientists say: “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”.

The team of researchers called upon public health officials to do more to educate people.

“Our findings can be useful for public health policies.

“Through screenings that demonstrate an elevation in these (sociopathic) traits, interventions can be carried out aiming at greater awareness and consequent compliance with containment measures”.