Personality Traits

How Stable are Personality Traits?

Last updated:
27 Jul 2004

How stable are personality traits?

Costa, McCrae and Arenberg (1980) conducted a longitudinal study of 460 males aged 17-85 over a 6 to 12 year period. They found correlations of .70+ over time for extraversion and high correlations for neuroticism.

Studies generally show decline in E and N as people age.  Helson and Moane (1987) studied women from 27 to 43 in their longitudinal study; Helson and Wink (1993) then assessed them at age 52
and found women become more dominant, independent, and self-confident over time
Individual differences in stability/consistency