Extroverts are more likely to resist the Covid vaccine despite wanting to socialize more, new research shows.
Several studies have looked at how education, sex, ethnicity, job and even political alignment influence vaccine uptake, but none have considered personality traits.
Researchers at the University of Texas surveyed more than 40,000 Canadian adults between November 2020 and July 2021, asking if they would be vaccinated.
They then mapped the answers on to the “big five” personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion (also spelled extroversion), agreeableness and emotional stability.
They were surprised to find that extroverts were 18 per cent more likely to refuse the jab.
We wanted to look at vaccine hesitancy in a different way,” said Dr Melissa Baker, lead author and assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.
“Of course, politics can help explain some of it, but there are personal differences between people, too – and that led us to this personality aspect.
“We expected that people who were especially high in extroversion would be more likely to get the vaccine. We figured those people would want to get back out in the world and socialise, right? It’s actually the opposite.”