Does Personality Change With Age? Our personalities have long been assumed to be set by the time we hit our 30s, but new research reveals that they fluctuate throughout our lifetimes – and that this has some unexpected benefits.
You go through a lot of changes between adolescence and maturity, including employment, terrible haircuts, and changing relationships. But what about who you are at your most fundamental level? As you are getting older, is your personality changing?
Personality refers to a person’s distinctive set of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. People have a tendency to believe that personality is fixed. This is not the truth according to experts. Personality is a phenomenon that develops over time.
“It’s not simply a static item that you can’t get rid of,” Brent Roberts, a psychologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, explained.
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That isn’t to imply that you are a different person every day. Change can be practically undetectable in the short term, according to Roberts. Longitudinal studies, in which researchers measure participants’ personalities on a regular basis over a long period of time, imply that our personalities are rather constant throughout shorter time scales.
Researchers evaluated the results of 152 longitudinal studies on personality, which monitored participants from birth to their early 70s, in one study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin in 2000.
The Big Five personality traits were examined in each of these researches. Extrovertism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience, and neuroticism are among the traits studied in personality study.
The researchers discovered that, in comparison to other participants, people’s levels of each personality feature tended to be consistent throughout time.
Longitudinal investigations have consistently produced comparable outcomes. Over time, personality tends to “improve.” It’s known as the “maturity principle” by psychologists. As people grow older, they become more emotional stable, extraverted, agreeable, and conscientious. Overtime, these changes are always noticeable.
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Although some people change more slowly than others, the maturity principle is applicable to everyone. That makes personality change even more difficult to detect in ourselves: how your personality compares to that of your peers doesn’t vary nearly as much as our general personality change, because everyone else is changing at the same time.
It’s either a frightening or hopeful revelation, depending on how you look at it. Personality evolves over time, in a gradual and consistent manner.