The once popular idea that our personality becomes “set like plaster” by the age of 30 has been refuted by studies showing that we do change — and can even purposefully change ourselves. Many studies have identified shifts in Big Five traits across the lifespan. However, the often inconsistent results have made for ongoing controversy about how personality typically changes with age.
Now a new analysis of data from 16 longitudinal studies, with a total sample of more than 60,000 people from various countries, reveals some important insights. The work suggests that there are indeed some clear patterns of change through middle age and into older age for at least four of those five traits. Continue reading →