Personality plasticity after age 30

Antonio Terracciano, Paul T. Costa, Robert R. McCrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rank-order consistency of personality traits increases from childhood to age 30. After that, different summaries of the literature predict a plateau at age 30, or at age 50, or a curvilinear peak in consistency at age 50. These predictions were evaluated at group and individual levels using longitudinal data from the Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory for periods of up to 42 years. Consistency declined toward a nonzero asymptote with increasing time interval. Although some scales showed increasing stability after age 30, the rank-order consistencies of the major dimensions and most facets of the Five-Factor Model were unrelated to age. Ipsative stability, assessed with the California Adult Q-Set, also was unrelated to age. These data strengthen claims of predominant personality stability after age 30.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1009
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006

Keywords

  • Five-Factor Model
  • Individual differences
  • Life span
  • Long-term stability
  • Older adults
  • Personality development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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