On a roll: The psychology behind toilet paper panic

What exactly is it about the rolls of tissue that has caused mayhem across cultures?


What you need to know:

  • "People feel the need to do something to keep themselves and their family safe, because what else can they do apart from wash their hands and self-isolate?" said the psychiatry professor at the University of British Columbia.
  • Another theory Taylor put forward is rooted in our evolutionary aversion to things which disgust us, heightened when people feel threatened with infection.

It's a scene that has become familiar around the world: From the US to France to Australia, rows of empty supermarket shelves where toilet paper used to be, the result of coronavirus-induced panic buying.


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