COVID Personality Survey

Help us better understand the behavioral science of COVID-19.

Posted Aug 13, 2020

Source: deedster/Pixabay

The coronavirus spreads via human social behavior. Our research team here in the Psychology Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz (in collaboration with our colleagues at Brunel University in London) has designed a survey to help us better understand the behavioral science that underlies the current pandemic. This survey is designed specifically for those who fit the following criteria: 

  • Either have been formally confirmed to have COVID-19 (and/or have tested positive for the antibodies) or are doubtful that they have ever contracted the virus
  • Are aged 40 or older
  • Reside in either the UK or in the US

The constraining nature of these criteria is necessary to help us maintain methodological control over various external variables. 

Past research has found that the presence of parasites, such as Toxoplasma, has significant statistical relationships with basic personality traits (see Lindová, Příplatová, & Flegr, 2012). The current (brief) survey seeks to better understand the relationship between various psychological traits and the proclivity to become infected with the coronavirus. We are hopeful that this work will have the capacity to help the scientific community paint a fuller picture of this virus which is wreaking such havoc on lives across the globe. 

We would appreciate people forwarding this survey to others who fit the inclusion criteria. And note that I do plan to summarize the findings here at Darwin's Subterranean World when we have our results formally collected and summarized.  

Note that our formal introduction to the survey is below. Many thanks for your consideration. 


Thank you for participating in our study! The purpose of this research is to explore some basic behavioral science questions that surround COVID-19. This virus spreads from human-to-human contact and, as such, we believe that human social behavior is a major factor that underlies the current pandemic. Here, we administer several validated measures of various psychological traits to examine if they vary among people who have been infected with COVID-19 versus those who have not. 

Inclusion Criteria:

Note that so as to be able to reduce statistical error, we are focusing particularly on participants who meet the following criteria:

Either have been formally confirmed to have COVID-19 (and/or have tested positive for the antibodies) or are doubtful that they have ever contracted the virus

Are aged 40 or older

Reside in either the UK or in the US


This survey should take about 10 minutes to fill out and should be completed in one session. The survey is completely optional and anonymous. 

Risks and Benefits: 

The risks associated with your participation are minimal and the proposed scenarios are similar to ones you may encounter in your everyday life—absolutely minimal. If you experience distress as a result of your participation, please contact the SUNY New Paltz Psychological Counseling Center at 845-257-2920 (for participants based in the US), or Brunel Counseling Service (for participants based in the UK) at or contact your GP to see if they offer counseling or can refer you to a therapist.

Benefits to you include being able to obtain experience in a behavioral science survey as well as contributing to research that may help us obtain a fuller picture of the factors that underlie the COVID-19 pandemic.


Your anonymity is guaranteed; once you have completed the survey, it will not be possible to identify whom it was completed by. There are no questions that ask for identifying information (e.g., names). 

This study is voluntary and you are free to refuse or withdraw your participation at any time. If you have questions regarding the procedures, please contact: Principal Investigator, Dr. Glenn Geher (

If you have concerns or are unclear about your rights as a subject, please contact the Chair of the Human Research Ethics Board, SUNY New Paltz at (845) 257-3282.

The Human Research Ethics Board of SUNY New Paltz, and the Brunel University Research Ethics Committee ( have found that this research meets the criteria for human subjects according to US Federal guidelines and the Universities UK Research Integrity Concordat.


By clicking the below link, you are consenting to participate in this study.

The survey is here.


Lindová, J., Příplatová, L., & Flegr, J. (2012). Higher extraversion and lower conscientiousness in humans infected with Toxoplasma. European Journal of Personality, 26(3), 285-291.