Stupid men are more likely to flout lockdown regulations in the COVID-19 era, new research has found.
A study by the University of Sydney assessed people's attitudes and behaviours towards pandemic regulations in Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada, and found about 10 percent of people were non-compliant with preventative measures against COVID-19.
An online survey of 1575 people during the pandemic's first wave in 2020 revealed the traits of those more likely to ignore the restrictions.
Those individuals were mostly male, less agreeable (cooperative, considerate), less intellectual as a personality trait, and more extroverted.
They were also more likely to prioritise their own freedom and self-interest, abuse drugs and alcohol, and engaged less with official sources of information.
Associate Professor Sabina Kleitman, the lead author of the study, says public health messages should be reframed to appeal to self-interest - which may target non-compliant people better than messages appealing to public good and social obligation.
"More targeted approaches might utilise a variety of media outlets, provide education to help people identify misinformation, and target specific false beliefs," she added.
"Alarmingly, the non-compliant group were more likely than the compliant group to leave their home in the following week to meet friends or family, for religious reasons, because they are bored, and to exercise their right to freedom.
"This behaviour is a major concern in Australia, especially during the current Sydney lockdown."
On the flip-side, women were more likely to comply, as were people who were more prone to worrying. People who believed in Government-mandated protective measures were also more likely to comply, and would cope with stress and anxiety more productively.
Compliant people were, on the whole, better educated, younger, and/or more at-risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.