Health and Fitness

People Who Ignore Social Distancing Rules May Be Psychopaths, According to Study

It all links to dark personality characteristics like narcissism.
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What makes a psychopath? Being callous and manipulative is a given. But, even though it's a personality disorder that psychiatrists know pretty well, there's still a lot of ways to tell if someone has psychopathic tendencies.  

Apparently, the latest one is ignoring social distancing guidelines. Yep, according to a study, you can add that to a quick tell of psychopathic traits. And, it all links to dark personality characteristics like narcissism and Machiavellianism.

"It was clear from reports in the media very early in the COVID-19 pandemic that some people were rejecting advice to socially distance and engage in increased hygiene. There can be many reasons for this, and I thought that personality may play at least a small role in it," says author Dr. Pavel Blagov.

Blagov came up with the study after surveying 50 adults on virus-related behavior with a focus on dark characteristic traits. It makes sense, too, seeing as the spread of COVID-19 was due in part to those who ignored social distancing rules. After all, a narcissist could care less about the well-being of others.

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"I knew that traits from the so-called dark triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) as well as the traits subsumed within psychopathy are linked to health risk behavior and health problems, and I expected them to be implicated in health behaviors during the pandemic," he says.

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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