Individuals who had prosocial personalities were more likely to take preventative measures during COVID-19 and individuals who had grandiose narcissist personalities were not. These findings, from a cross-sectional study, were published in Personality and Individual Differences.

Adults (N=968) living in the United States and Canada were surveyed in the summer of 2020 about their personality, social disposition, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women scored higher on the prosocial personality measures (t, -6.11; P <.01), had higher individual social responsibility (t, -5.10; P <.01), were more likely to be bullied (t, -2.62; P <.01), had lower grandiose narcissism (t, 2.50; P <.01), and negative health and safety attitudinal behavioral responses (t, 4.97; P <.01) compared with men. Compared with Canadians, Americans had lower grandiose narcissism (t, -2.55; P <.05) and were more likely to be bullied (t, 4.29; P <.01).


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Grandiose narcissism explained 27% and prosocial personality 24% of the total variance.

Grandiose narcissism was negatively related with individual social responsibility (path coefficient, -0.08; P <.05) and positively related with health and safety attitudinal behavioral responses (path coefficient, 0.13; P <.001).

Prosocial personality was positively related with individual social responsibility (path coefficient, 0.37; P <.001) and negatively related with health and safety attitudinal behavioral responses (path coefficient, -0.31; P <.001).

In a model of bullying, there was a positive relationship between prosocial personality with individual social responsibility (path coefficient, 0.44; P <.001) which was related with being bullied (path coefficient, 0.30; P <.001). There was a negative relationship between prosocial personality with being bullied (path coefficient, -0.11; P <.05).

This study was likely biased as the participants were mostly women living in the United States.

The responses to this study indicated individuals who were grandiose narcissists were less likely to comply with public health safety measures and bullies were more likely to target vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reference

O’Brien C, Tourigny L, Payne EHM. Personality and responses to Covid-19 health and safety prevention. Pers Individ Differ. Published online May 24, 2021. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2021.111013