Psychological precursors of individual differences in COVID-19 lockdown adherence: Moderated-moderation by personality and moral cognition measures

Sara Lo Presti, Giulia Mattavelli, Nicola Canessa, Claudia Gianelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the worldwide introduction of containment measures. This emergency scenario produced a conflict between personal freedom and public health, highlighting differences in individual behaviours influenced by psychological traits and moral considerations. In this context, a detailed characterisation of the psychological variables predicting adherence to containment measures is crucial to enhance public awareness and compliance. During the first virus outbreak in Italy, we assessed whether adherence to government measures was explained by the interacting effects of personality traits and moral dispositions. Through an online questionnaire, we collected data on individual endogenous variables related to personality traits, locus of control, and moral dispositions, alongside the tendency to breach the lockdown for outdoor physical activity. The results showed that individual measures of novelty-seeking, harm-avoidance and authority concerns interacted in driving the adherence to the national lockdown: MFQ-Authority moderated the facilitatory effect of novelty-seeking on lockdown violation, but this moderation was itself moderated by higher TCI-harm-avoidance. By assessing a model forecasting the likelihood of violating restrictive norms, these findings show the potential of personality and moral foundation assessments in informing prevention policies and emergency interventions by political and scientific institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111090
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Harm-avoidance
  • Lockdown
  • Moderated-moderation
  • Moral cognition
  • Novelty-seeking
  • Personality
  • Respect for authority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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