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

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

A cougar in early February killed a family dog near Grand Forks, said Conservation Officer Mark Walkosky.
Grand Forks Conservation Officers want pet owners to be aware of area predators

Dogs have been recently been attacked and killed by wild animals near Saddle Lake

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Friday’s announcement caps years of planning by policy planners and food growers across the Boundary. File photo
Boundary food hub to go ahead as province kicks in $750,000

The hub’s Rock Creek and Greenwood operations are designed to restore “food sovereignty,” says policy planner

Blaine Penner survived an avalanche in Norns Range. Photo: Blaine Penner
West Kootenay man survives avalanche in Norns Range

Blaine Penner accidentally stepped out onto a cornice, triggering avalanche

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read