Study: Your Personality Changes As You Get Older

There’s a cliche that says the more things change the more they stay the same, but is that true of our personalities over time? Researchers from from several universities looked at data from U.S. high school students who answered a series of questions to assess personality in 1960, and answered it again 50 years later. Study leader Rodica Damian sums up the findings, saying, “The rankings (of personality traits) remain fairly consistent. People who are more conscientious than others their age at 16 are likely to be more conscientious than others at 66. But, on average, everyone becomes more conscientious, more emotionally stable, and more agreeable.” Still, the scientists did find individual differences in personality changes across time, with some people changing more than others and some changing in more harmful ways. Another interesting find: men and women changed at the same rates across the lifespan.