The role of impulsivity and delay discounting in student compliance with COVID-19 protective measures

Wismans, A. et al. (2021) The role of impulsivity and delay discounting in student compliance with COVID-19 protective measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 179, 110925. (doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2021.110925)

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During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, governments set recommendations and restrictions that have given rise to new situations that require residents to deliberate and respond nonautomatically. For highly impulsive individuals, dealing with these situations may be harder, as they tend to deliberate less about the consequences of their behaviors. In this study, we investigate the relationship between impulsivity and delay discounting on the one hand and compliance with COVID-19 restrictions on the other hand. We distinguish between compliance with social distancing measures and compliance with hygiene measures. Regression analyses of an international sample of 6759 students from seven European countries reveal that the self-reported personality construct of impulsivity is negatively related to both types of compliance behavior. However, and unexpectedly, we also find a weak positive association between the discount rate—as measured by a behavioral task—and compliance. Our study highlights the importance of individual differences in impulsivity in regard to compliance with public health measures during a pandemic.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:COVID-19, compliance, impulsivity, delay discounting, students, public health.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Letina, Dr Srebrenka
Creator Roles:
Letina, S.Conceptualization, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Wismans, A., Letina, S., Wennberg, K., Thurik, R., Baptista, R., Burke, A., Dejardin, M., Janssen, F., Santarelli, E., Torrès, O., and Franken, I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Personality and Individual Differences
ISSN (Online):1873-3549
Published Online:17 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Personality and Individual Differences 179: 110925
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Relationships and healthMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/3HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
Office of the Chief Scientist (CSO)SPHSU18