Personality and the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic was a severe global health emergency and psychosocial shock event that affected all humans. Prolonged social mitigation measures and societal lockdowns resulted in the most severe global economic meltdown in a century. This book describes a chain of stressors over 2020-2021 using the Netherlands as a frame of reference; virus emergence, slow response, spread from China to Europe, social distancing, societal lockdowns, excess mortality, and social, emotional, psychological, and physical responses, conspiracies, polarization, demonstrations, riots, violence, virus mutations, vaccines, recovery, and major sociocultural and geopolitical changes. My key interest were personality differences in feelings, thoughts, wants, needs, and behaviors and the maintenance of subjective well-being (“happiness”). Dutch and global mainstream media (MSM) documented how humans reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and developed societal narratives to structure their growing understanding of a changing world. This journal of the plague years 2020-2021 covers a unique period in time to learn about human psychology. Many societies showed hubris, fear, surprise, and a lack of prudence and preperation. Many major governmental decisions were taken on base of societal emotions rather than science. Academic studies examined how differences in culture, politics, risk position, values, personalities, skills, financial and social resources, and contextual differences shaped resilience and accommodation to the coronavirus. The next decade we shall see how humans managed the coronavirus pandemic, whether the psychosocial and health responses we observed got under our skin, and younger generations became slightly more introverted, risk aversive, and collectivistic in their lifetime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonality and the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic
PublisherUniversity of Groningen
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22-Mar-2020


  • Covid-19
  • Personality
  • Happiness
  • well-being
  • Emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Secondary Stress
  • Lifespan development
  • Coronavirus
  • Predictions
  • Personality Theory
  • Big Five
  • Meaning
  • Purpose
  • Coping

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