Nieuw onderzoek naar hoe onze persoonlijkheid verandert doorheen de tijd

Liggen onze persoonlijkheidstrekken vast of niet? Of beter: kan je je partner ooit veranderen of niet? Het is het onderwerp van een nieuwe studie waarbij data gebruikt werd van meer dan 50000 Amerikaanse en Europese respondenten die men kreeg door data van 14 onderzoeken te combineren. Hierbij keek men na hoe de typische big five-persoonlijkheidstrekken evolueerden. Wat bleek? Meestal zie je vergelijkbare patronen.

BPS Digest vat het als volgt samen:

Combining data from all the studies showed that four of the five main personality traits showed statistically significant change, on average, through life, thus contradicting William James’ famous assertion that personality is set like plaster after age 30. The exception was trait Agreeableness (related to warmth and empathy), but actually this trait was found to change in each individual study, but in different directions for different studies (sometimes increasing through life, sometimes diminishing), such that it appeared stable when considered in aggregate.

Putting Agreeableness aside, the overall pattern was for the other traits to decline across the lifespan by about 1-2 per cent per decade, such that participants became, on average, more emotionally stable (save for an uptick in Neuroticism at the very end of life), but generally less outgoing, less open-minded, and less orderly and self-disciplined. This is somewhat consistent with the previously described Dolce Vita (literally “sweet life”) effect, which describes how we change in late life in response to having fewer responsibilities.

Maar er vallen nog een paar dingen op:

  • Er zijn de nodige individuele verschillen.
  • Er zouden regionale verschillen bestaan.

Dit is een zeer interessante nieuwe analyse, maar er zijn de nodige beperkingen én de studie levert nieuwe vragen op (bijvoorbeeld hoe het komt dat een individu van de algemene tendensen afwijkt).

Abstract van het onderzoek (nog in preprint):

This study assessed change in the Big Five personality traits. We conducted a coordinated integrative data analysis (IDA) using data from 14 studies including 47,190 respondents to examine trajectories of change in the traits of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. Coordinating models across multiple study sites, we fit nearly identical multi-level linear growth curve models to assess and compare the extent of trait change over time. Quadratic change was assessed in 8 studies with four or more measurement occasions. Across studies, the linear trajectory models revealed stability for agreeableness and decreases for the other four five traits. The non-linear trajectories suggest a U-shaped curve for neuroticism, and an inverted-U for extraversion. Meta-analytic summaries indicate that the fixed effects are heterogeneous, and that the variability in traits is partially explained by baseline age and country of origin. We conclude from our study that neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness go down over time, while agreeableness remains relatively stable.

 

Geef een reactie

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen.

WordPress.com logo

Je reageert onder je WordPress.com account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Google+ photo

Je reageert onder je Google+ account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Twitter-afbeelding

Je reageert onder je Twitter account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Verbinden met %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.