The researchers suggest that people who comply with regulations are better informed about Covid-19, as they “reported greater use of official government and health information sources than the non-compliant group”. Non-compliers “tend to check the actual legitimacy of a source less,” said Kleitman. “They [also] tend not to trust official sources and I think that’s a bit of a worry.”
People who complied with restrictions were more likely to cope positively using strategies including self-distraction, while rule flouters tended to resort to “denial, substance use, and behavioural disengagement”, the researchers found.
Rule-breakers also had lower measures of “openness/intellect”, a trait the researchers defined as the tendency to seek out novel experiences, and which is distinct from intelligence.