Scientists Say Personality Traits Are Changeable

“We present the case that traits can serve both as relatively stable predictors of success and actionable targets.”


We often cannot change our personality that is inherited and largely stable; however, a recent study says otherwise

The study, which will be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal American Psychologist, has found that there is a possibility of changing your personality traits by major life events and persistent intervention.

Your personality trait could predict important outcomes such as health, happiness, well-being, and income. Identified as neurosis, extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeability, and openness, personality traits can help with policy interventions that can improve human welfare.

The study is the product of the Personality Change Consortium, which is an international group of researchers that understands personality traits. Study authors Wiebke Bleidorn and Christopher Hopwood initiated the consortium.

Bleidorn said, “In this paper, we present the case that traits can serve both as relatively stable predictors of success and actionable targets for policy changes and interventions.”

Hopwood added, “Parents, teachers, employers and others have been trying to change personality forever because of their implicit awareness that it is good to make people better people.”

Their research has found that personality traits account for a broad range of socially important behaviors and can be changed, especially through major life events and persistent intervention. However, they explained that these trains often remain stable so it is not easy to change them.

It is unlikely that costly interventions would work because the resources are not informed evidence as far as a personality trait is concerned.

The authors said, “For that reason, it would be helpful for public policymakers to think more explicitly about what it takes to change personality to improve personal and public welfare, the costs and benefits of such interventions.”

“And the resources needed to achieve the best outcomes by both being informed by evidence about personality traits and investing more sustained resources and attention toward better understanding personality change,” they added.

The researchers noted that a relatively small number of personality traits account for most of the ways so they are related to a broad range of important life outcomes.

Although largely stable, personality traits are changeable by catching people at the right age and an extra bit of effort, making them important targets for large-scale interventions.

For example, neurosis and conscientiousness may represent good intervention targets in adolescents, while certain interventions may be effective in emotionally stable people. The researchers said, “It is also important to consider motivational factors, as success is more likely if people are motivated and think change is feasible.”