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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Dec;83(6):1469-84.

On the temporal stability of personality: evidence for differential stability and the role of life experiences.

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Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242-1407, USA.


The authors investigated the stability of personality and trait affect in young adults. In Studies 1 and 2, young adults were retested on a Big Five personality measure and a trait affect inventory over a 2.5-year and a 2-month period, respectively. Results from Study 1 point to positive mean-level changes; participants scored higher on Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness at Time 2. Affectively, participants experienced less negative affect and more positive affect at Time 2. Results from both retests provide clear evidence of differential stability. Affective traits were consistently less stable than the Big Five. Other analyses suggest that life events influence the stability of affective traits more than the Big Five.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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