People who wear tattoos are psychologically different from people who don’t

People who wear tattoos are psychologically different from people who don't

Until recently, wearing tattoos in countries like Spain was more associated with a licentious, even quarrelsome life; in fact, in countries like Japan it continues to do so. Nowadays, wearing tattoos is so mainstream that not wearing them might even feel slightly rebellious.

However, according to a study published in 2019 , there are relevant psychological differences between people who wear tattoos on average .

Short-term and compulsive

Those who carry tattoos would be, according to various measurements, more impulsive and short-term people than the non-tattooed, especially if it is about visible tattoos . It is a decision that has no going back (at least easily) and that is for life taken in a moment, situation, thought, wish given that they will change before the tattoo.

The survey and experimental evidence document, even today, discrimination against tattooed people in the job market and in business transactions. Therefore, people’s decision to get a tattoo may reflect myopic temporal preferences .

Almost nothing dampens these results, not the reason for the tattoo, the time taken before tattooing or the time elapsed since the last tattoo. Even the expressed intention to get one (other) tattoo predicts an increase in myopia and helps establish the direction of causality between tattoos and myopia .

Of course, it should be noted that we are dealing with correlation rather than causality, and that this correlation is an average: naturally, there will be people who wear tattoos that are neither short-term nor compulsive.

What probably happens with more intensity are the connotations associated with wearing a tattoo (in some countries more than others), as happens with ugliness and a whole tangle of factors that discriminate against people :