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

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Hotel Zed Tofino. (Westerly file photo)
Two Tofino businesses up for building awards

14th annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read