Victoria’s COVID-19 regulation will need to recognize the different personality types of its population to ensure widespread behavioral compliance and keep the number of cases south of the pre-Christmas targets.
That’s the latest advice from behavioral economist Dr Stephen Whyte, who recently analyzed the impact of personality traits on regulatory cooperation, with colleagues from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Regulatory compliance – one of the most crucial ways to curb the spread of the pandemic until a vaccine or treatment is approved – is less likely among outgoing personalities, research shows. In total, five different personality types were analyzed, according to the well-known “five-factor model” in the field of psychology.
“It’s more difficult for extroverts to obey COVID-19 regulations than it is for other personalities. Not because of a tendency to rebel, but because – without stating the obvious – isolation and reduced social activity go against their character, ”said Dr Whyte.
“Extroverts naturally gravitate towards social environments and will find it much less comfortable and sustainable to isolate themselves for long periods of time, in accordance with Premier Andrew’s policies.
“We can all betray our personality traits for a short time, but more than a week or two and we start to find it untenable. Take the New Year’s average resolution example. It’s easy for us to diet or go to the gym regularly at first, but by mid-January most of us gave up and switched to something else, ”he added.
On top of that, Dr Whyte believes outgoing personality types may be commonplace in Victoria – the state being widely recognized as Australia’s entertainment capital and attracting large numbers of pool residents based on its scene. social.
“Victoria is arguably the arts, food and sport capital of Australia, and it is hardly surprising that its people like to engage in a lifestyle of ‘outgoing’ person-to-person contact.” , did he declare.
To that end, Dr Whyte believes that overly strict or self-regulating policies, rolled out over a long period of time, might not be as effective in Victoria.
“Compared to other countries, our regulations on quarantine and social distancing have been quite strict. For example, some European countries are only required to quarantine or self-isolate for seven days, while here there are fourteen. “
“I think we need to be realistic about what we can expect at the population level and create policies that take into account the ‘big five’ personality types.
“Just as a diet has to be realistic for people to stick with it for the long term and generate weight loss, COVID-19 regulations must also be sustainable for everyone involved.
“If this proves too difficult, people will give up – either by consciously rebelling or unknowingly not being tough enough in their approach,” he concluded.