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Researcher Identifes 16 COVID-19 Personality Types

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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:

  1. Deniers: The people who downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Spreaders: People who believe that spreading the virus will lead to herd immunity.
  3. Harmers: Those who actively try to harm others, such as spitting on others.
  4. Realists: The people who recognize the dangers of COVID-19 and adjust their life and routines appropriately.
  5. Worriers: People who stay informed and safe out of fear of the coronavirus pandemic.
  6. Contemplators: Those who isolate and reflect on themselves and others during self-isolation.
  7. Hoarders: The people who panic buy and hoard products to cope with the spread of COVID-19.
  8. Invincibles: Largely young people who believe they are immune to the virus.
  9. Rebels: People who defy rules and norms that they believe restrict their freedom.
  10. Blamers: Those who vent their fears and frustrations to others
  11. Exploiters: The people who use the pandemic to advance their lives and their businesses.
  12. Innovators: People who redesign or repurpose resources to help others.
  13. Supporters: People who show support for each other during the pandemic.
  14. Altruists: Those who step up to help people who are at high-risk for COVID-19.
  15. Warriors: Frontline health care workers who face the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.
  16. 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.”

Image via Getty Images/dragana991

Originally published: February 1, 2021
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