Who wants to reopen the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic? The daring and uncaring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Economic shutdowns, which refer to disallowing employees to work on site, are among the most contentious approaches to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While economic shutdowns save lives, their large economic costs have caused some people to develop strong attitudes and even break government-issued mandates, which incurs health risks and often the need to extend the economic shutdowns. In the current article, we argue that the interaction of two personality characteristics, risk-taking tendencies and prosocial tendencies, is a strong determinant of attitudes toward economic shutdowns, and we assess the impact of this interaction on three different attitudes toward economic shutdowns that differ by their focal target: employees, customers, and organizations. The results demonstrate that this interaction significantly predicted economic shutdown attitudes toward customers and organizations but not employees. We suggest that these results can be understood via the lens of behavioral decision-making theories as well as a recent framework on antisocial risk takers, both of which provide several subsequent directions for future research. We conclude with recommendations for the development of effective messages to curb defiant behaviors toward economic shutdowns, such as focusing on those most likely to perform these problematic behaviors – the daring and uncaring.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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