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People who refuse to wear face masks show antisocial personality traits, study finds

People protest against mandates to wear masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Austin, Texas, U.S., June 28, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Flores TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

People who refuse to wear face masks show antisocial personality traits, study finds

Researchers say people who refuse face mask mandates are more likely to be callous and deceitful.

People who refuse to wear face masks show antisocial personality traits, study finds

As countries continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of face masks has become a key part of limiting the spread, mandated by many countries and recommended by the World Health Organisation.

It’s also become a highly politicised topic, particularly in America where many people have protested against mask mandates.

Now, new findings may explain why some people are so against wearing masks – and it comes down to their personality traits.

Researchers from the State University of Londrina and São Francisco University in Brazil surveyed more than 1,500 adults in Brazil during the pandemic.

They conducted a questionnaire to measure personality traits, including empathy, callousness, risk-taking, irresponsibility, hostility and manipulativeness.

The study found that people with reported ‘antisocial traits’ were less inclined to follow COVID-19 restrictions, like the wearing of face masks and practicing social distancing.

According to the researchers, people who show less empathy and more antisocial traits, such as callousness, deceitfulness and risk-taking, are less concerned about exposing themselves and others to risks. Rather, they are motivated by their own self-interest.

“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,” said the researchers.

READ MORE: Scientists rank the best and worst face masks.

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