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Secular changes in personality: study on 75-year-olds examined in 1976-1977 and 2005-2006

Secular changes in personality: study on 75-year-olds examined in 1976-1977 and 2005-2006

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 28(3): 298-304

In order to study secular changes in personality factors neuroticism and extroversion, representative population samples of non-demented 75-year-olds underwent psychiatric examinations in 1976-1977 (total n = 223, 138 women, 85 men) and 2005-2006 (total n = 556, 322 women and 234 men). Eysenck Personality Inventory was used at both occasions. Demographic factors (educational level, marital status, having children) were registered. Seventy-five-year-olds examined in 2005-2006 had higher values on extroversion and lower values on the Lie scale compared with those examined in 1976-1977. Neuroticism did not differ between the two birth cohorts. Neuroticism scores were higher in women than in men both in 1976-1977 and 2005-2006, and Lie score was higher in women than in men in 2005-2006. Our findings suggest that present cohorts of 75-year-olds are more extroverted and less prone to respond in a socially desirable manner than those born three decades earlier. Neuroticism levels remained unchanged, suggesting this trait may be less influenced by environmental factors than the other traits studied.

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Accession: 055685164

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22588670

DOI: 10.1002/gps.3825

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