Personality traits: Stability and change with age

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Individual differences in personality traits are generally stable during adulthood; where there are changes, they are generally in the direction of greater maturity. The trends are similar for men and women and across cultures. With advancing age, people generally become more emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious, with better impulse control, but less active and less open to new actions and values than younger individuals. Those trajectories provide several insights into adult development, challenging some negative stereotypes about older adults and serving as a reminder that enduring individual differences are more important than age in understanding personality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-478
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatrics and Aging
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cross-cultural
  • Depression
  • Personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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