Q: How much would you say your personality traits
(conscientiousness, emotional stability), core values
(security, success) and preferences (favorite type of music,
food) have changed over the last decade? How much do you
expect them to change in the next 10 years?
A: When 19,000 online recruits were asked these
questions, psychologists Jordi Quoidbach, Daniel Gilbert and
Timothy Wilson discovered an interesting pattern, reported
the journal "Science": Subjects consistently report more
change over the previous decade than they expect over the
next. For example, 28-year-olds said their personality
traits had changed quite a bit, while 18-year-olds predicted
a change of essentially zero. The data show that at all
ages, we report more past changes for ourselves than we
expect for our future, though the difference decreases as we
Concluded the researchers: "Both teenagers and
grandparents seem to believe that the pace of personal
change has slowed to a crawl and that they have recently
become the people they will remain." Our personal history,
it seems, "is always ending today."
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