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Narcissisme og vaccination

Ny forskning peger på, at en persons individuelle niveau af narcissisme påvirker, om de er mere eller mindre villige til at deltage i COVID-19 afbødningsstrategier såsom at bære maske eller lade sig vaccinere.

Forskerne – inklusive Peter Hatemi, professor i statskundskab ved Penn State universitet – så på virkningerne af både storladen ("grandiøs") og "sårbar" narcissisme med hensyn til, om folk var mere eller mindre tilbøjelige til at bære en maske offentligt eller blive vaccineret mod COVID-19 .

Peter Hatemi forklarer, at storladen narcissisme er kendetegnet ved jagten på social status og et ønske om, at andre ser dem som vigtige og værdige til beundring. Derimod er sårbar narcissisme forbundet med egoisme og ego-centrisme eller at være særligt følsom over for andres dømmekraft.

Efter at have kontrolleret for personlig politik, risikoopfattelse, indstilling til statspolitikker og andre vigtige demografiske forhold, fandt forskerne ud af, at deltagere, der i højere grad havde storladen/grandiøs narcissisme [tænk på Donald Trump], var mindre tilbøjelige til at  bære en maske  eller at blive vaccineret. Men hos de personer, der trods alt valgte at bære en maske, var disse personer også mere tilbøjelige til at fortælle andre, at de også skulle bære en maske.

Deltagere der i højere grad kunne siges at tilhøre gruppen med sårbar narcissisme var også mindre tilbøjelige til at bære en maske eller til atblive vaccineret, hvis deres personligheder også var mere selvcentrerede og egocentriske. Imidlertid var disse personer mere tilbøjelige til at deltage i disse Covid-19 forholdsregler, hvis deres personlighed også gjorde dem mere følsomme over for at føle sig dømt af andre.

Forskerne siger, at resultaterne kan bruges til at forme meddelelser i fremtiden.

"Hvis du vil overbevise en person, der har høj grad af storladen/grandiøs narcissisme, om at bære en maske eller deltage i andre afbødnings-forholdsregler mod f.eks. Covid19, så skal man gøre denne afbødnings-forholdsregel cool og unik for at opfylde disse personers behov for at skille sig ud," siger Peter Hatemi.

"For dem, der er overfølsomme over for at andre dømmer dem, kan man fortælle dem, at  afbødningen  er  socialt sanktioneret . Begge disse strategier ser ud til at gribe ind i disse personers personlighed mere end at fremhæve det større gode for flertallet."

Ifølge forskerne har der i USA været meget delte meninger om COVID-19-pandemien og de afbødningsbestræbelser, der skal bremse dens fremskridt. Tidligere forskning har vist, at konservative personer var mindre tilbøjelige til at føle sig sårbare over for COVID-19, og mindre tilbøjelige til at tro på, at virussen var en alvorlig trussel, og mere tilbøjelige til at tro, at medierne overdrev faren og virkningen af ​​virussen.

Men forskerne havde mistanke om, at politisk indstilling alene ikke kunne forklare folks adfærd og meninger om pandemien, og at personens personlighed også kan spille en rolle.

"I en tid, hvor folk blev opfordret til at bære en maske eller  blive vaccineret  for at hjælpe ikke kun sig selv, men også andre mennesker, var der et personlighedstræk, der stak ud for os som en mulig forklaring på dem, der ikke ønskede at rette sig efter disse anbefalinger, " siger Peter Hatemi. "Min medforfatter og jeg havde forsket i narcissisme i andre sammenhænge i et stykke tid, og det så ud til, at det kunne være stærkt forbundet med denne type adfærd."

Til undersøgelsen indsamlede forskerne information fra et nationalt repræsentativt udsnit af 1.100 amerikanske voksne i marts 2021. De stillede deltagerne adskillige spørgsmål om COVID-19  med hensyn til at bære maske, vaccineadfærd og holdninger til vaccination mv. vedrørende COVID-19 coronavirus-pandemien. Deltagerne udfyldte også vurderinger, der var designet til at måle niveauet af narcissisme i deres personlighed. Til sidst blev deltagerne spurgt om, hvor bekymrede de personligt følte sig over COVID-19.

Forskerne siger, at mens ekstrem narcissisme kan være en diagnosticerbar personlighedsforstyrrelse, er narcissisme i en mildere grad også et aspekt af alles personlighed, der eksisterer på et  kontinuum fra lav grad til høj grad.

"Vi har alle et niveau af storladen eller sårbar narcissisme," siger Peter Hatemi. "Det er en naturlig del af alle menneskers personlighed, for uden det ville vi ikke fungere ordentligt.

"Men den del af narcissisme, som vi alle har, kan nemt blive fodret af politiske budskaber og indfanget i disse forskellige historier, hvilket er, hvad vi så under COVID-19-pandemien."

Forskningen er udgivet i tidsskriftet  Current Psychology .

Zoltán Fazekas fra Handelshøjskolen i København deltog også i dette arbejde.

Kilde:  Penn State

ENGELSK UDGAVE:

New research indicates a person's individual level of narcissism affects whether they are more, or less, willing to participate in COVID-19 mitigation strategies like masking and vaccination.

The researchers—including Peter Hatemi, professor of political science at Penn State—looked at the effects of both "grandiose" and "vulnerable" narcissism on whether people were more or less likely to wear a mask in public or get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Hatemi explains that grandiose narcissism is characterized by the pursuit of social status and a desire for others to see them as important and worthy of admiration. Meanwhile, vulnerable narcissism is associated with selfishness and ego-centrism or being especially sensitive to judgment from others.

After controlling for personal politics, perception of risk, state policies, and other important demographics, the researchers found that participants higher in grandiose narcissism were less likely to wear a mask or get vaccinated. However, in individuals who did choose to wear a mask, they were also more likely to tell others to wear one, as well.

Participants higher in vulnerable narcissism were also less likely to wear a mask or get vaccinated if their personalities were also more self-centered and egocentric. However, they were more likely to participate in these mitigations if their personalities also made them more sensitive to feeling judged.

The researchers say the findings could be used to help shape messaging in the future.

"If you want to convince someone high in grandiose narcissism to wear a mask or participate in other mitigations, make that mitigation cool and unique to fulfill their need to stand out," Hatemi says.

"For those over sensitive to judgment, you could tell them the mitigation is socially sanctioned. Both of these strategies seem to tap into these personalities more than emphasizing the greater good, for example."

According to the researchers, opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation efforts intended to slow its progress have been greatly divided in the United States. Previous research found that conservatives were less likely to feel vulnerable to COVID-19 or that the virus was a serious threat, and more likely to believe the media was exaggerating the danger and impact of the virus.

However, the researchers suspected that politics alone could not explain people's behaviors and opinions about the pandemic and that personality may play a role, as well.

"In a time when people were being encouraged to wear a mask or get vaccinated to help not just themselves but also other people, there was one personality trait that stuck out to us as a possible explanation for those that didn't want to comply," Hatemi says. "My coauthor and I had been researching narcissism in other capacities for quite some time and it seemed like it could be strongly linked to these types of behaviors."

For the study, the researchers collected information from a nationally representative sample of 1,100 US adults in March 2021. They asked participants several questions about COVID-19 mask-wearing, as well as vaccine behaviors and attitudes. Participants also filled out assessments designed to measure levels of narcissism in their personality. Finally, participants were asked about how worried they personally felt about COVID-19.

The researchers say that while extreme narcissism can be a diagnosable personality disorder, narcissism to a milder degree is also an aspect of everyone's personality that exists on a continuum.

"We all have some level of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism," Hatemi says. "It's a natural part of all humans' personalities because without it, we wouldn't function properly.

"But this part of narcissism we all have, it can get easily fed by political messaging and hijacked into these different stories, which is what we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The research appears in the journal Current Psychology.

Zoltán Fazekas of the Copenhagen Business School, also participated in this work.

Source: Penn State

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