Adaptive and Dark Personality in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Predicting Health-Behavior Endorsement and the Appeal of Public-Health Messages

Published on 2020-07-08T12:08:48Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Who embraces directions to socially distance, boost hygiene, and protect others during a pandemic of contagious respiratory disease? Do differently phrased public-health messages appeal to different people? I based predictions on the five-factor, triarchic psychopathy, and Dark Triad models of normal-range and dark traits; the extended parallel process model (EPPM); and schema-congruence theory. In a survey of 502 online participants, normal-range traits (esp agreeableness and conscientiousness) predicted endorsement of social distancing and hygiene, as well as the appeal of health messages in general. Consistent with the EPPM, conscientiousness and neuroticism had an interaction. Dark traits (esp psychopathy, meanness, and disinhibition) predicted low endorsement of health behaviors and the intent to knowingly expose others to risk. Most participants preferred a message appealing to compassion (“Help protect the vulnerable…”), but dark traits predicted lower appeal of that message. Personality appears relevant to epidemiology and public-health communication in a contagious-disease context.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Blagov, Pavel S. (2020): Adaptive and Dark Personality in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Predicting Health-Behavior Endorsement and the Appeal of Public-Health Messages. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.5053074.v1