Research Links Personality Traits to Toilet Paper Stockpiling

10-Jun-2020 12:05 PM EDT, by PLOS

Newswise — People who feel more threatened by COVID-19 and rank highly on scales of emotionality and conscientiousness were most likely to stockpile toilet paper in March 2020, according to a new study published June 12, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Garbe (University of Saint Gallen, Switzerland), Richard Rau (Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster, Germany), and Theo Toppe (the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany).  

Following the fast spread of COVID-19 across Europe and North America in March 2020, many people began stockpiling commodities including toilet paper. Some companies reported an increase of up to 700% in toiled paper sales, despite calls from the government to refrain from “panic buying.” 

In the new study, researchers surveyed 1,029 adults from 35 countries who were recruited through social media. Between March 23 and March 29, 2020, participants completed the Brief HEXACO Inventory—which ranks six broad personality domains—and shared information on their demographics, perceived threat level of COVID-19, quarantine behaviors, and toilet paper consumption in recent weeks. 

The most robust predictor of toilet paper stockpiling was the perceived threat posed by the pandemic; people who felt more threatened tended to stockpile more toilet paper. Partly, this effect was based on the personality factor of emotionality—people who generally tend to worry a lot and feel anxious are more likely to feel threatened and stockpile toilet paper. The personality domain of conscientiousness—which includes traits of organization, diligence, perfectionism and prudence—was also a predictor of stockpiling (p = .048). Other observations were that older people stockpiled more toilet paper than younger people and that Americans stockpiled more than Europeans. The researchers pointed out that the variables studied explained only 12% of the variability in toilet paper stockpiling, which suggests that some psychological explanations and situational factors likely remain unaccounted for.

The authors add: “Subjective threat of COVID-19 seems to be an important trigger for toilet paper stockpiling. However, we are still far away from understanding this phenomenon comprehensively." 

#####

 

Press-only preview: https://plos.io/30vbEd8

 

Image Caption: Toilet paper stockpiler  

 

Image Credit: Nori Blume

 

Citation: Garbe L, Rau R, Toppe T (2020) Influence of perceived threat of Covid-19 and HEXACO personality traits on toilet paper stockpiling. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0234232https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234232

 

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work. 

 

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

 

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234232

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5640
Released: 15-May-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Rutgers Reports First Instance of COVID-19 Triggering Recurrent Blood Clots in Arms
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are reporting the first instance of COVID-19 triggering a rare recurrence of potentially serious blood clots in people’s arms.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.


Showing results

110 of 5640

close
1.24712