For many of us, some personality traits remain the same throughout life while others only change gradually. However, evidence suggests that important events in our personal lives that induce severe stress or trauma may be linked to more rapid changes in our personality,
A new study published in one more, suggests that the COVID pandemic has indeed caused much more personality changes than we would expect to see naturally in this period. Specifically, the researchers found that people were less extroverted, less open, less agreeable and less conscientious in 2021 and 2022 than before the pandemic.
The study included more than 7,000 US participants aged 18 to 109 who were evaluated before the pandemic (since 2014), at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and then later in the pandemic in 2021 or 2022. went.
At each time point, participants completed the “Big Five Inventory”. This assessment tool measures personality in five dimensions: extroversion versus introversion, agreeableness versus opposition, conscientiousness versus lack of direction, neuroticism versus emotional stability, and openness versus closeness to experience.
there were not many changes between pre-pandemic and 2020 personality traits. However, the researchers found significant declines in extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness in 2021/2022 compared to before the pandemic. These changes were similar to a decade of normal change, suggesting that the trauma of the COVID pandemic had accelerated the natural process of personality change.
Interestingly, the personalities of the young adults in the study changed the most. They showed a significant decline in agreeableness and conscientiousness and a significant increase in neuroticism in 2021/2022 compared to pre-pandemic. This may in part be due to social anxiety, having missed two years of normality when returning to society.
personality and wellbeing
Many of us became more health conscious during the pandemic, for example by eating better and exercising more. Many of us sought out virtually whatever social interactions we could find and tried to focus our attention on psychological, emotional, and intellectual development – for example, by practicing mindfulness or taking up new hobbies.
Nonetheless, mental health and wellbeing have declined significantly. It is understandable given the drastic changes we have gone through.
In particular, personality significantly affects our well-being. For example, people who report higher levels of conscientiousness, agreeableness, or extraversion are more likely to experience the highest levels of well-being.
So the personality changes detected in this study may go some way to explaining the reduction in well-being we observed during this period. Epidemic,
If we look more closely, it appears that the pandemic has negatively affected the following areas: – Our ability to express empathy and compassion towards others (agreeableness); – our ability to be open to new concepts and to engage in new situations (openness); – our tendency to seek and enjoy other people’s company (extraversion); – Our willingness to strive towards our goals, to do tasks well or to take responsibilities towards others seriously (conscientiousness).
All of these symptoms affect our interactions with the environment around us, and as such, may have played a role in the decline in our well-being. For example, working from home can leave us frustrated and as if our career is going nowhere (low conscientiousness). This in turn can affect our well-being by making us feel more irritable, sad or anxious.
Over time, our personalities usually change in a way that helps us adapt to aging and deal with life events more effectively. In other words, we learn from our life experiences and this later affects our personality. As we get older, we generally see an increase in self-confidence, self-control, and emotional stability.
However, participants in this study recorded changes in the opposite direction to the normal trajectory of personality change. It is understandable that we faced an extended period of hardships, including constraints on our freedom, lost income and illness. All these experiences have clearly changed us and our personality.
This study gives us some very useful insights about the effects of the pandemic on our psyche. These influences can later affect many aspects of our lives, such as well-being.
Knowledge allows us to make choices. So you might like to take the time to reflect on your experiences over the years, and how these personality changes have affected you.
Any change in altitude will have protected you well Epidemic, However, it’s worth asking yourself how useful these changes are now that the rapid phase of the pandemic is behind us. Do they still serve you well, or can you try to reconsider your approach?
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