How high agreeableness meant Aussies tolerated COVID restrictions – latest podcast episode with QUT’s Dr Stephen Whyte

It’s been remarkable how tolerant Australians have been of all the COVID-related restrictions, some of which, to me, appeared excessive and unjustifiable, such as some of the interstate border restrictions and the snap three-day Brisbane lockdown earlier this year. QUT’s Dr Stephen Whyte undertook some fascinating research last year in which he and his co-authors explored the relationship between personality traits and compliance with COVID guidelines and restrictions (Can Psychological Traits Explain Mobility Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic?).* Rather than Australia being full of larrikins who wouldn’t abide by guidelines or restrictions, Australians are, on average, highly agreeable and this meant high levels of compliance, as Stephen told the ABC’s Kat Davidson earlier this month (COVID lockdowns prove Aussies aren’t larrikins after all). I interviewed Stephen on his research earlier this week and I’ve now published our conversation as my latest podcast episode. I hope you enjoy it.

*The big five personality traits are extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability (or its obverse, neuroticism).

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