Coronavirus: Conscientious and ‘emotional’ people more likely to stockpile toilet paper

After comparing personality tracts against toilet paper consumption, the team found “emotionality” and “conscientiousness” were linked to panic buying the essential. The scientists argued “even the most humble and moral individuals might stockpile toilet paper as long as they feel sufficiently threatened by the pandemic”. To learn more, the team recruited 1,029 volunteers via social media and had them complete the Brief HEXACO Inventory, which ranks six broad personality traits. When it came down to personality type, emotionality – generally worrying a lot and feeling anxious – was linked to the panic buying. The scientists stressed the factors they identified explained only 12% of the variability in toilet paper stockpiling, suggesting something else is at play. Others cause everything from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 774 people during its 2002/3 outbreak.