I found this on net and it’s worth sharing
Personality makes us who we are. It
influences nearly every aspect of our lives
including what we choose to do for a living,
how we interact with our families, and our
choices of friends and romantic partners. But
what factors influence our personality? Can we
change our personalities, or do our overall
traits remain constant throughout life?
Since personality is such a fascinating topic,
it has become one of the most heavily
researched subjects within psychology.
Thanks to all this research, psychologists have
learned a great deal about the things that
influence personality as well as how
personality influences our behaviors.
Continue reading to discover more about what
researchers have learned in these ten
fascinating facts about personality.
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Birth Order Can Influence Your Personality
You’ve probably heard of this concept before.
First born children are often described as
“bossy” or “responsible,” while last-born
children are sometimes described as
“irresponsible” and “impulsive.” But how true
are these common stereotypes?
For decades, pop psychology books touted the
effects of birth order on personality, but hard
evidence on the phenomenon remained elusive
until quite recently.
A few empirical studies have found that such
things as birth order and family size may
indeed have an impact on personality. One
study even found that birth order can influence
your choices of friends and romantic partners;
first-borns tend to associate with other first-
borns, middle-borns with other middle-borns
and last-borns with last-borns.
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Your Personality Is Relatively Stable
Do you think that personality can change over
time, or is your basic temperament set in
stone? In long-term studies of personality,
some of the most core parts of personality
remain stable throughout life. Three aspects
that do tend to change as we age are anxiety
levels, friendliness, and eagerness for novel
According to researcher Paul T. Costa Jr.,
there is no evidence our overall personalities
change as we grow older.
“What changes as you go through life are your
roles and the issues that matter most to you.
People may think their personality has
changed as they age, but it is their habits that
change, their vigor and health, their
responsibilities and circumstances – not their
basic personality,” he suggested in a New
York Times article.
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Personality Traits Are Linked to Certain
In the past, a number of different personality
traits have been suspected of contributing to
particular illnesses. For example, hostility and
aggression were often linked to heart disease.
The difficulty was that while some studies
would reveal a link, other studies
demonstrated no such connection.
Recently, researchers have used a statistical
technique known as meta-analysis to
reevaluate previous research on the
connection between personality and disease.
What they discovered were some previously
unnoticed connections between neurotic
personality traits and five illnesses;
headaches, asthma, arthritis, peptic ulcers and
Another study suggested that shyness might
be linked to a shorter lifespan.
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Animals Have Distinctive Personalities
Does it ever seem like your beloved pet has a
personality that makes him utterly unique?
Animal researchers have found animals from
nearly every species of animal (from spiders to
birds to elephants) have their own
personalities with preferences, behaviors, and
quirks that persist throughout life.
While some critics suggest that this represents
anthropomorphism, or ascribing human traits
to animals, animal personality researchers
have been able to identify consistent
behavioral patterns that can be empirically
measured and tested.
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Current Research Suggests that there are Five
Core Personality Traits
In the past, researchers have debated exactly
how many personality traits exist. Early
researchers such as Gordon Allport suggested
that there were as many as 4,000 distinct
personality traits, while others such as
Raymond Cattell proposed that there were 16.
Today, many personality researchers support
the five-factor theory of personality , which
describes five broad personality dimensions
that compose human personality:
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Personality Influences Personal Preferences
It may come as no shock to learn that your
personality can have a profound effect on your
personal preferences, but you just might be
surprised by how far reaching these effects
may be. From your choice of friends to your
taste in music, your unique personality can
influence nearly every choice you make in your
For example, while you might pride yourself on
carefully considering the issues before
choosing a candidate to support, research
suggests that personality may play a strong
role in political preferences.
One study conducted by researchers at the
University of Toronto found that individuals
who identified themselves as conservatives
were higher in a personality trait called
orderliness, while those who self-identified as
liberal were higher in empathy.
Researchers suggest that these underlying
personality needs to either preserve order or
express empathy can have a strong influence
on political preferences.
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People Can Accurately Judge Your Personality
Based on Your Facebook Profile
When you think about people’s online
identities, you might imagine that most people
try to present an idealized version of their real
selves. After all, in most online situations you
get to pick and choose the information you
want to reveal. You get to select the most
attractive photos of yourself to post and you
can edit and revise your comments before you
make them. Surprisingly, one study discovered
that Facebook profiles are actually quite good
at conveying your real personality.
In the study, researchers looked at the online
profiles of 236 U.S. college-aged individuals.
The participants also filled out questionnaires
designed to measure personality traits
including extroversion, agreeableness,
conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness.
Observers then rated the personalities of the
participants based on the online profiles, and
these observations were compared to the
results of the personality questionnaires. The
researchers found that observers were able to
get an accurate read on a person’s personality
based on their Facebook profile.
“I think that being able to express personality
accurately contributes to the popularity of
online social networks in two ways,” explained
psychologist and lead author Sam Gosling.
“First, it allows profile owners to let others
know who they are and, in doing so, satisfies
a basic need to be known by others. Second, it
means that profile viewers feel they can trust
the information they glean from online social
network profiles, building their confidence in
the system as a whole.”
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Numerous Factors Can Contribute to
An estimated 10 to 15% of adults in the
United States experience symptoms of at least
one personality disorder . Researchers have
identified a number of factors that may
contribute to the onset of different personality
disorders such as obsessive-compulsive
disorder and borderline-personality disorder.
These factors include:
Relationships with peers
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Cardinal Traits Are Rare
Psychologist Gordon Allport described
cardinal traits as those that dominated an
individual’s life to the point where that person
is known and often identified specifically by
that trait. These traits are considered rare,
however. In many cases, people become so
known for these traits that their very names
become synonymous with that type of
personality. Consider the origins of these
often-used terms: Freudian, Machiavellian,
narcissism, Don Juan and Christ-like.
For most people, personality is instead
composed of a mixture of central and
secondary traits. Central traits are those that
make up the core foundation of personality,
while secondary traits are those related to
preferences, attitudes, and situational
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Your Pet May Reveal Information About Your
Would you consider yourself more of a “dog
person” or a “cat person”? According to one
study, your answer to this question might
actually reveal important information about
In a study of 4,500 people, researchers asked
participants whether they considered
themselves to be more dog people or cat
people. These individuals also completed a
personality survey that measured a number of
broad traits including conscientiousness ,
openness, neuroticism, and agreeableness.
The researchers discovered that people who
identified themselves as dog people tended to
be more extroverted and eager to please
others, while those who described themselves
as cat people tended to be more introverted
According to researcher Sam Gosling, a
psychologist at the University of Texas-Austin,
the results might have important implications
in the field of pet therapy. By using
personality screenings, therapists might be
able to match people in need with animals
that are best suited to their personality.