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  • Question 1/11

    Your personality is fixed by age 30.

  • Answer 1/11

    Your personality is fixed by age 30.

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    Some researchers view key personality traits as plaster that largely “sets” when you reach adulthood. But studies have found that your character can continue to change into your middle age and beyond.

  • Question 1/11

    Women’s and men’s personalities evolve differently as they get older.

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    Women’s and men’s personalities evolve differently as they get older.

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    On the whole, women undergo a bigger transformation than men in their middle age. Females tend to gain self-confidence as they get older, especially from 30 to 60. Men change relatively little on that score. On the other hand, they grow a bit more friendly and social in their middle years, while women become less outgoing.

  • Question 1/11

    How much of your personality is inherited?

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    How much of your personality is inherited?

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    Your genes and how you grew up both help shape your personality. Studies on twins found that roughly half of your personal traits may be inherited. If both of your parents are prone to anxiety, you might be more likely to be that way, too.

  • Question 1/11

    Your personality can be boiled down to this many fundamental traits:

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    Your personality can be boiled down to this many fundamental traits:

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    Over the decades, different researchers distilled personality into different groups of stable traits. Today, a theory popular worldwide  is called the ”Big Five” dimensions:

    • Extraversion (outgoing, sociable)
    • Agreeableness (trusting, giving)
    • Openness (curious, imaginative)
    • Conscientiousness (organized, thorough)
    • Neuroticism (anxious, moody)
  • Question 1/11

    Your personality can affect how long you’ll live.

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    Your personality can affect how long you’ll live.

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    All other things being equal, having certain personality traits can lengthen your life span by several years or more. Specifically, you may live longer the higher you score on extraversion and conscientiousness. It also helps the more you’re open to experiences and ideas and emotionally stable (low neuroticism). 

  • Question 1/11

    Men of all ages score higher than women for:

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    Men of all ages score higher than women for:

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    Compared to women, men on the whole are more open to new experiences and intellectual stimulation. For both sexes, imagination and curiosity drop off more quickly after age 30.

  • Question 1/11

    You can change your personality.

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    You can change your personality.

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    Lots of people would like to change something about themselves. With effort and time, some do succeed. One study found that it may be easier to train yourself to become more outgoing or emotionally stable than it is to turn yourself into a more artistic, imaginative person or to change your natural level of stubbornness, trust, or modesty.

  • Question 1/11

    Over 50 years, which ways is your personality most likely to change from your youth?

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    Over 50 years, which ways is your personality most likely to change from your youth?

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    The older people get, the better their emotional stability. Calmness is a facet of that. Seniors also tend to become more sensitive to other people and, well, more mature. On the other hand, leadership and impulsiveness seem to be more hardwired. One study found that in about 3 out of 4 people, those traits stayed unchanged over 5 decades.

  • Question 1/11

    Your conscientiousness -- traits such as self-control, tidiness, and hard work -- grows fastest during your:

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    Your conscientiousness -- traits such as self-control, tidiness, and hard work -- grows fastest during your:

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    Among the Big Five personality traits, this is the biggest area of growth between the ages of 21 and 30 for both sexes. People continue to become more conscientious as they get older, but never as markedly as they did during their 20s.

  • Question 1/11

    Your brain size and structure can affect your personality.

  • Answer 1/11

    Your brain size and structure can affect your personality.

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    Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can change your personality by killing cells in parts of your brain. Damage to your frontal lobe, for example, can turn you more passive or rude. Using MRI images, researchers have found possible links between volumes of different regions of the brain and four of the Big Five personality traits (openness was the one exception).

  • Question 1/11

    Your birth order can affect your personality.

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    Your birth order can affect your personality.

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    Where you fall in your family order barely has any impact on the Big Five personality traits like agreeableness and extraversion. Researchers also haven’t found any meaningful link to more specific characteristics like patience, trusting nature, or political orientation. The one exception? Firstborn children as a group score higher on intelligence than their younger siblings. And they tend to view themselves as smarter, too.

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Sources | Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 20, 2019 Medically Reviewed on November 20, 2019

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on
November 20, 2019

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

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SOURCES:

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: set like plaster or persistent change?” “Volitional Personality Trait Change: Can People Choose to Change Their Personality Traits?” “Sixteen Going on Sixty-Six: A Longitudinal Study of Personality Stability and Change across 50 Years.”

Journal of Research in Personality: “Goals to change personality traits: Concurrent links between personality traits, daily behavior, and goals to change oneself.”

Genes, Brain, and Behavior: “The Genetics of Human Personality.”

University of Minnesota, University Center for Twin and Family Research: “Other Twin Research at the U of M.”

Science: “Sources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart.”

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: “Understanding Temperament in Infants and Toddlers.”

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Genetic and environmental influences on personality trait stability and growth during the transition to adulthood: A three wave longitudinal study.”

Frontiers in Psychology: “The Relation Between Supervisors’ Big Five Personality Traits and Employees’ Experiences of Abusive Supervision.”

Association for Psychological Science: “Birth Order Has Little Effect on Narrow Personality Traits.”

Psychological Science: “Probing Birth-Order Effects on Narrow Traits Using Specification-Curve Analysis,” “Testing Predictions From Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five.”

Psychosomatic Medicine: “Personality predictors of longevity: Activity, Emotional Stability, and Conscientiousness.”

Age: “Do personality characteristics predict longevity? Findings from the Tokyo Centenarian Study.”

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin: “Personality Plasticity After Age 30.”

James, W. The Principles of Psychology: Volume 1, Henry Holt and Company, 1890.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Volitional personality trait change: Can people choose to change their personality traits?”

Introduction to Psychology - 1st Canadian Edition: “12.3 Is Personality More Nature or Nurture? Behavioural and Molecular Genetics.”

SimplyPsychology: “Theories of Personality.”

University of California San Francisco Weill Institute for Neurosciences: “Behavior & Personality Changes.”

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