Researcher Identifes 16 COVID-19 Personality Types
While everyone has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, people have reacted very differently to it. In a comment published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, researcher Mimi E. Lam outlined 16 different emerging COVID-19 personality types based on common responses to COVID-19.
Understanding these different viewpoints, even if they might seem outlandish for some, can help inform an adequate COVID-19 response that is followed by more people, according to Lam. Lam recommended that governments should use this information “1. to recognize the diversity of individuals; 2. to deliberate and negotiate value trade-offs; and 3. to promote public buy-in, trust and compliance.”
Sixteen emerging COVID-19 personality types per Lam are as follows:
- Deniers: The people who downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Spreaders: People who believe that spreading the virus will lead to herd immunity.
- Harmers: Those who actively try to harm others, such as spitting on others.
- Realists: The people who recognize the dangers of COVID-19 and adjust their life and routines appropriately.
- Worriers: People who stay informed and safe out of fear of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Contemplators: Those who isolate and reflect on themselves and others during self-isolation.
- Hoarders: The people who panic buy and hoard products to cope with the spread of COVID-19.
- Invincibles: Largely young people who believe they are immune to the virus.
- Rebels: People who defy rules and norms that they believe restrict their freedom.
- Blamers: Those who vent their fears and frustrations to others
- Exploiters: The people who use the pandemic to advance their lives and their businesses.
- Innovators: People who redesign or repurpose resources to help others.
- Supporters: People who show support for each other during the pandemic.
- Altruists: Those who step up to help people who are at high-risk for COVID-19.
- Warriors: Frontline health care workers who face the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Veterans: People who have gotten sick during other epidemics or pandemics who comply with rules.
According to Lam, people can use these personality types to model how COVID-19 will spread in different communities. Lam also believes that acknowledging these differences “would pave the way for ethical governance that can reconcile plural values, perspectives and knowledge.”
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