Friday, February 24, 2017
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.
If you think you’re exactly the same as your teenage self, new research may challenge that assumption. In a 63-year study, the longest ever conducted on human personality, scientists found that personalities can transform almost entirely over the course of a lifetime.
For the study, which began in 1950, psychologists at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom analyzed data from more than 1,200 personality assessments given to 14-year-old students by their teachers. The educators rated their pupils on the following six personality traits: self-confidence, conscientiousness, perseverance, desire to excel, originality, and stability of moods.
Approximately 63 years later, researchers tracked down 174 of the original students, now an average of 77 years old, who agreed to take another personality test. The participants took an assessment measuring the same six characteristics that they were judged on at 14 years old. They were also asked to bring along another loved one, who then weighed in on the same traits.
The results, though published in the journal Psychology and Aging in December, are just gaining traction. And they're quite different from what researchers expected to find: There wasn’t a whole lot of overlap between now and then—aside from a small correlation between stability of moods and conscientiousness. “The longer the interval between two assessments of personality, the weaker the relationship between the two tends to be. Our results suggest that, when the interval is increased to as much as 63 years, there is hardly any relationship at all,” the researchers wrote in the study’s conclusion. “Personality changes only gradually throughout life, but by older age it may be quite different from personality in childhood.”
It’s important to realize that the data isn’t 100 percent conclusive. The sample size of the latter study was pretty small compared to the original sample, and a teacher’s personality assessment isn’t exactly the same thing as self-assessment. Nonetheless, it is an important look into how we can change over the years—in more ways than just our appearance.
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Aly Raisman Talks to Chrissy Teigen About Body Doubts and Posing in SI Swim: 'I Used to Be So Insecure'
This article originally appeared in People.com.
Even Olympians and supermodels have body insecurities.
“You brought home some medals for us. We owe a lot to you, and now you’ve been kind enough to grace us with that amazing a–,” Teigen, 31, tells Raisman at the SI Swimfest in Houston. “You look incredible in the magazine, like absolutely bonkers, strong, confident, beautiful, amazing woman.”
“[You] surprise yourself how comfortable you are when you’re shooting,” Raisman, 22, says. “It was one of my favorite days of my life — I’m not just saying that — because I felt so confident, so strong, so feminine, and it’s an incredible feeling, because I feel like a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it.”
The six-time Olympic medalist says she still deals with body doubts.
“It’s so empowering to be out there and just, you have insecurities just like everyone else, your body’s not perfect, but you feel confident and beautiful.”
“How do you have insecurities?” Chrissy asks, shocked.
“I used to be so insecure, I thought my arms were too muscular, but now I’m growing to like them,” Raisman admits.
Issue editor Day, who chose size and body diversity as the theme of the 2017 issue, explains that this very conversation drives home that idea.
“This is the point. Everyone thinks that because you’re an elite athlete, because you’re an enormous celebrity, superstar model, that your world is perfect, and that you think everything about yourself is perfect,” Day says.
“It doesn’t matter if you look like you, or you, or me, we all have our issues, and the world should know that. We should love everything that we’re given.”
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