Conclusion: wear the mask
As things return to normal, the issue of whether or not to wear a face mask in public has become increasingly – and bafflingly – divisive. If reducing the risk of infection and literally helping save lives isn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will: a new study has found that people who refuse to wear masks could possess sociopathic traits.
The study, conducted by Brazil’s State University of Londrina, is based on data from 1,600 adults about their compliance with COVID-19 measures. Results found that people who reported “antisocial traits” are less likely to follow coronavirus health standards, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.
In the study, “antisocial” traits include characteristics usually found in people diagnosed with sociopathy, a disorder that causes people to have an absence of guilt, remorse, and empathy. The American Psychological Association defines as “a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others”.
“Our findings indicated that antisocial traits, especially lower levels of empathy and higher levels of callousness, deceitfulness, and risk-taking, are directly associated with lower compliance with containment measures,” said Professor Fabiano Koich Miguel, one of the study’s researchers.
The study suggests that people who have low levels of empathy are less concerned about exposing themselves and others to risks. In contrast, people who are empathetic are more likely to adhere to coronavirus guidelines and “developing positive social interactions”.
But Professor Miguel said the findings should be treated with some caution, according to The Times. “We cannot state that if a person chooses not to wear a facemask, the only reason is because they are a sociopath. Although this is possible, there are likely other factors involved,” he added.
Many artists, designers, and celebrities have come up with their own designs to help slow the spread of the virus, including Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Blackpink, and The Weeknd. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has also raised over $1 million for charity, with a sale of masks featuring his most iconic artworks.