New study out of Norway suggests COVID-19 personality types can be used to reduce transmission. (Black Press Media file photo)

New study out of Norway suggests COVID-19 personality types can be used to reduce transmission. (Black Press Media file photo)

New study suggests there are 16 COVID-19 personality types — which one are you?

Pandemic response must be tailored to people’s different beliefs

Are you a denier, an innovator, a warrior? Maybe you’re a spreader or a hoarder?

A new study by a Norwegian researcher suggests there are 16 COVID-19 personality types, which, like age, race or gender, can be used to determine how individuals interact with the virus and how and where it will be spread.

RELATED: The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

In her article published Jan. 27, Mimi Lam argues that response to and communication around the pandemic must be tailored to resonate with different people’s values, needs and interests. She says that globally, people have naturally formed into 16 different behavioural groups:

  • Deniers: downplay the threat, business as usual
  • Spreaders: believe herd immunity is the best, fastest way to return to normal
  • Harmers: may spit or cough at others, call COVID-19 the ‘Boomer Remover’
  • Realists: recognize the risk at hand, adjust behaviour accordingly
  • Worriers: stay informed and safe to manage anxiety and fear
  • Contemplators: isolate and reflect on life and world
  • Hoarders: panic buy goods to subdue insecurity
  • Invincibles: often youth, partiers, beach-goers who believe themselves immune
  • Rebels: oppose social rules in the name of individual freedoms
  • Blamers: push fears and frustrations onto others, discriminate against certain groups
  • Exploiters: exploit the situation for power, profit or brutality
  • Innovators: design or repurpose resources, like distilleries producing sanitizer
  • Supporters: show support for frontline workers and others through claps, songs, rainbows
  • Altruists: help the vulnerable, elderly, and isolated
  • Warriors: combat the virus head-on, like health care workers
  • Veterans: have lived through a different virus and are willing to comply

RELATED: B.C. COVID-19 conspiracy theorist charged with violating Quarantine Act

Lam then groups the 16 types into three categories: non-compliers (deniers, harmers, invincibles, rebels), partial-compliers (spreaders, blamers, exploiters) and compliers (realists, worriers, contemplators, hoarders, innovators, supporters, altruists, warriors, veterans). She suggests that by focusing on these behavioural groups, the viral curve can be flattened. For example, partial-compliers are more likely than non-compliers to change their behaviour, so communication should be targeted to them and their concerns.

Lam points out that in Norway, four days after national lockdown, the prime minister held a national press conference for children where she addressed their fears. Similarly, in New Zealand and parts of Canada, the Easter Bunny was declared an essential worker and children were reassured their treats would still be delivered.

Although less vulnerable to the virus, children can still be carriers and their compliance with measures impacts their parents’ ability to comply as well. This, Lam said, is one way that communication can be used to target specific groups and tackle the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

She emphasized that the pandemic can only be properly tackled when it is recognized that in a pluralist society, such as Canada, people’s behaviours vary by their different beliefs and values.

“The COVID-19 pandemic thus can unite us in our common humanity, but only if we adapt to recognize the dignity of all individuals and value the human diversity currently dividing us,” she wrote.

Lam’s full article, United by the global COVID-19 pandemic: divided by our values and viral identities, can be read at nature.com.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Coronavirusresearch

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some of the folks behind Angel Flight East Kootenay: Todd Weselake is a director, partner and pilot while Brent Bidston is the president and lead pilot of the not-for-profit. Pictured here with their older plane, they hope to get an upgrade for thanks to RDEK funding. (Image courtesy of Angel Flight East Kootenay)
Angel Flight secures RDEK funding for next five years

$100,000 will go to the not-for-profit each year, with the funds to be used to acquire a larger plane

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

(L-R) Michelle Malan, Administrator for the Elk Valley Seniors Housing Society (Lilac Terrace) and Stephonie Gordon, Staff Representative of the Legacy Celebration Committee, Sparwood Branch. (Contributed by EKC)
EKC gives $10k to Lilac Terrace

The funding is part of the EKC’s 70s anniversary celebrations

Forty-eight vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

Most Read