What Happens to Personality and Temperament Characteristics as People Age?
Mehrabian and Blum (1996) investigated personality and temperament changes as a function of age. Age-related differences in three temperament (Trait Pleasure-displeasure, Trait Arousability, Trait Dominance-submissiveness), and four personality (Achieving Tendency, Conformity, Shyness, Loneliness), scales were explored in three studies. Results, generally, were consistent with the hypothesis that scores on Trait Dominance and on trait measures that correlated positively with Trait Dominance (e.g., achievement) were lower for older persons. Achieving Tendency (assessed in Studies One and Three) was lower for older subjects. Trait Dominance (assessed in two studies) was lower for older men and women in Study Two and lower for older women only in Study Three. In Study Three, two strong negative correlates of Trait Dominance (Conformity, Shyness) were higher for older women. Based on a consistent absence of age/Trait Pleasure relationships, no age-related differences in psychological adjustment-maladjustment were implied by the findings.
The Full-Length Article
If you are unable to obtain the full-length article from your library, contact Albert Mehrabian to get the Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file.
- Mehrabian, A., & Blum, J.S. (1996). Temperament and personality as functions of age. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 42, 251-269.
Copyright© 1995-2011 by Albert Mehrabian