Personality 'Can Totally Change over a Lifetime'

Daily Mail (London), February 21, 2017 | Go to article overview

Personality 'Can Totally Change over a Lifetime'


Byline: Eleanor Hayward

YOU may have left your teenage fashion choices behind, but surely your personality hasn't changed that much ... or has it? While you might not feel like a completely different person, character traits actually change 'beyond recognition' over a lifetime, research found. The longest-running personality study ever done concluded that not only do we undergo a great physical transformation between adolescence and old age, but our character also changes dramatically - and innate traits appear to be a myth.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh looked at participants' characteristics at the age of 14, and again more than 60 years later when they were 77.

Volunteers were assessed on six personality traits that are often seen as innate - self-confidence, perseverance, stability of moods, conscientiousness, originality, and desire to excel.

The researchers were shocked to discover very little overlap in personality traits over the 63-year period.

The project was based on a Scottish mental health survey from 1950, in which teachers used questionnaires to assess six personality traits of 1,208 children born in 1936. …

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