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Recent research claims that people with darker personalities, such as those with psychopathy and sadism, are less likely to comply with health and safety measures and will take more health and safety risks.

The study's report was published in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences", and it is called "Dark Tetrad and Covid-19 Protective Measures: Mediating effects of risk-taking tendencies." Its authors are Iva Konc, Kristina Petrovic and Bojana M Dini.

The researchers found that, during the Covid pandemic, people with what is classed as dark personality traits such as aggressiveness, deviousness, narcissism, psychopathy and sadism are often non-compliant with protective measures, such as vaccination and wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) like face masks, gloves and protective footwear. Dark personalities have a tendency to engage in more risky behaviours and do not comply with risk-reducing behaviours.

The researchers measured 348 participants for dark personality traits and then asked them about their compliance with Covid-19 protective measures and their attitude to vaccinations. The study found that people who measured higher on the recklessness and sadism scale had a small tendency towards non-compliance with proactive measures. People with high deviousness were less likely to be vaccinated.

In a statement, the authors of the research report said:

"Results are generally in line with previous studies in which dark traits, except narcissism, showed negative effects on Covid-19 protective measures."

The researchers noted that the study found the link between dark personality traits and risk taking was small, and a wide study is required to confirm the conclusions of the study.

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