Personality tests could tell a lot about a person. They are also considered to help predict many factors like longevity and quality of many events such as job performance, marriage and the life of an individual. Is there any relation between personality and how long you will live?
There have been a large number of research studies and scientists claim that all evidence suggests that the longevity of a person depends on his/her mental health, more than his/her physical health. How personality affects your life and overall longevity? The following factors tell about the personality of a person and how they affect longevity.
A more sociable individual could have a relatively wider social network and this could be helpful in living a longer life because of more support. However, a more sociable individual is also more likely to have unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking. However, when it comes to women, especially Indian women, the chances of developing poor habits are lesser and being a social butterfly may just help add more years to their life.
According to research studies, people who are more prudent, detail oriented, responsible and persistent are more likely to live longer. Therefore, conscientiousness is considered to be a strong indicator of longevity.
Although some amount of worrying could be helpful, excess amount of thinking is going to be harmful. Studies have found that those who do more catastrophic thinking in everything are likely to die sooner. Thinking patterns that focus on the worst parts are not helpful in living longer.
Those who have more feminine traits, as could be told from their hobbies and occupations, are more likely to live longer. A major reason is that masculine habits and activities including smoking and drinking, which are unusual in women are detrimental to health.
In a study published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, personality of more than 240 children was evaluated. The common thing about these children was that everyone’s parents lived for more than 100 years. Scientists found similarities in the personalities of these children.
The following common characteristics were found in the children who lived longer than normal:
- They were outgoing
- They were highly active
- They were less neurotic
- They showed empathy
- They were more cooperative
The study found that the major factor affecting personality and longevity was extroversion.
Conscientiousness and Longevity
A number of studies conducted by scientists from 1999 to 2006 revealed that longevity somehow had a relation to the following:
- High degree of conscientiousness
- Low level of hostility
- Lesser distressed kind of personality
The findings were more mixed and blurred in the case of those who had higher level of neuroticism. This indicated that neuroticism might reduce life expectancy.
Researchers Chandra Reynolds, Margaret Kern and Howard Friedman traced a number of people who were subjects for a study conducted by psychologists from their childhood. Interestingly, this study started during the 1920 and the children were chosen because of their intelligence.
The participants were evaluated at 29 for their personality. Then, they were again evaluated in 2007 at the age of 67. The researchers assessed whether personality had any impact on the number of years an individual lives. The study revealed that personality does affect longevity. There were certain variations in terms of the gender, but overall the relation was apparent. In addition, it was also found that conscientiousness and neuroticism also affected longevity.
Thus, overall personality does have a major affect on longevity. Therefore, trying to grow a child with a more positive personality could go a long way in helping him/her live longer.