Can you change your personality as you age?

personality
Credit: Getty Images

Personality is the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors unique to a person. People tend to think of personality as fixed. But according to psychologists, that’s not how it works. “Personality is a developmental phenomenon. It’s not just a static thing that you’re stuck with and can’t get over,” said Brent Roberts, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

[One study] found that in their 60s, participants scored much higher than they had as teenagers on questions measuring calmness, self-confidence, leadership and social sensitivity.

Again and again, longitudinal studies have found similar results. Personality tends to get “better” over time. Psychologists call it “the maturity principle.” People become more extraverted, emotionally stable, agreeable and conscientious as they grow older. Over the long haul, these changes are often pronounced.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some individuals might change less than others, but in general, the maturity principle applies to everyone. That makes personality change even harder to recognize in ourselves — how your personality compares with that of your peers doesn’t change as much as our overall change in personality, because everyone else is changing right along with you.

Related article:  How Nazi Germany pioneered the use of performance enhancing drugs in WWII
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“There’s good evidence that the average self-control of a 30-year-old is higher than a 20-year-old,” [psychologist Brent] Donnellan said. “At the same time, people who are relatively self-controlled at 18 also tend to be relatively self-controlled at age 30.”

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend