10 fascinating facts about personality:
1. 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 recently. A few recent 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.
2. Your Personality Is Relatively Stable throughout Life
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 experiences.
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.
3. Personality Traits Are Linked to Certain Illnesses
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 heart disease.
Another study suggested that shyness might be linked to a shorter lifespan...