09:23 GMT24 September 2020
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    A recent study by researchers in Brazil found that people with antisocial traits like low levels of empathy and higher levels of callousness, deceitfulness and risk-taking are less likely to comply with COVID-19 prevention measures, such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

    The study, conducted by researchers at the State University of Londrina, polled 1,578 Brazilian adults between the ages of 18 and 73.

    The study participants answered questionnaires about their compliance with COVID-19 containment measures as well as personality traits such as empathy and willingness to take risks. 

    “Our findings indicated that antisocial traits, especially lower levels of empathy and higher levels of callousness, deceitfulness, and risk-taking, are directly associated with lower compliance with containment measures. These traits explain, at least partially, the reason why people continue not adhering to the containment measures even with increasing numbers of cases and deaths,” the researchers concluded.

    A Polish study also found that people who show three socially aversive personality traits - which it named as narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy - were also less likely to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. People with such traits also believed they were more likely to contract the virus.

    The proper wearing of face masks has been shown to be highly effective at preventing a COVID-19 infection.

    A study by researchers at the UK’s University of Edinburgh, published August 14 on preprint website MedRxiv, found that face coverings can block 99.9% of respiratory droplets released by coughing or speaking, which in turn can significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.


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