Those who refuse to wear masks are exhibiting a sign of a serious personality disorder, according to a new study. As The Sun reported, researchers surveyed adults in Brazil and found that those who resisted measures aimed at reducing the impact of the novel coronavirus, like wearing a mask, were more likely to have an antisocial personality.
Over 1,500 people in Brazil between the ages of 18 and 73 were asked a series of questions about how much they had complied with donning masks and other coronavirus mitigation tactics. They were also asked how well certain statements described their own behavior.
Those who didn’t want to adhere to coronavirus safety suggestions and other restrictions put in place for public safety seemed to have less empathy, more hostility, and a high rate of risk-taking than those who were more likely to adhere to safety requirements.
The same individuals were also more likely to score higher when it came to callousness, irresponsibility, and dishonesty.
These traits are all those that appear in individuals who have been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, a mental disorder that can impact how people relate to others.
“Like other types of personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder is on a spectrum, which means it can range in severity from occasional bad behavior to repeatedly breaking the law and committing serious crimes,” the United Kingdom’s National Health Service said.
“Psychopaths are considered to have a severe form of antisocial personality disorder.”
The researchers said their study may reveal why some refuse to adhere to coronavirus pandemic requirements.
“These traits explain, at least partially, the reason why people continue not adhering to the containment measures even with increasing numbers of cases and deaths,” they said.
Brazil, in particular, is currently suffering from a high number of cases and deaths, with more than 157,000 individuals dead and 5.41 million infected. The country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has downplayed the virus and made fun of the idea of wearing a mask. He has even shot down laws aimed at requiring the wearing of masks indoors.
The researchers said this information could impact the way government leaders educate the public.
“Through screenings that demonstrate an elevation in these [ASPD] traits, interventions can be carried out aiming at greater awareness and consequent compliance with containment measures.”
In the United States, President Donald Trump has faced a similar backlash from those who say he hasn’t gone far enough to encourage citizens to wear masks and practice social distancing. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the U.S. recently set a new record for coronavirus cases.