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Lecture 8

lecture 8.docx

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Michael Ashton

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PSYC 2P25 October 5, 2012 Personality and Life Outcomes How does personality “matter” in life? Personality and Longevity  Which personality traits predict longer life?  Friedman et al. (1993, 1995): compared ratings of children’s personalities (by adults during 1920s) with later data on eventual age of death (and cause of death)  Traits studied: o “Social conscientiousness” -> dependability, responsibility o Motivation o Energy o Cheerfulness o Mood stability o Sociability  Found that longer life was related to o Social conscientiousness (positively) o Cheerfulness (negatively) th th o (difference of about 5 years on average between 75 and 25 percentiles of the traits) o Why did people high in social conscientiousness tend to live longer?  Injuries? Persons high in Soc. Consc. were less likely to die from injuries, but few people died from injuries, so this is not the main reason  Obesity? No; Soc. Consc. wasn’t related to obesity  Smoking and drinking? High soc-consc people smoked and drank less, and both smoking and drinking predicted earlier death; however, effect of Soc. Consc. wasn’t mainly due to smoking and drinking  Reason for relation between Soc. Consc. is unlear..  Better stress coping (more prepared)?  More social support (closer relationships)?  Many health behaviours combined? o Why did people high in cheerfulness tend to live less long?  Cheerfulness wasn’t much related to smoking, drinking, etc  Maybe cheerful people were too optimistic about health -> tended to neglect developing health problems? (Don’t know)  Contrary to Friedman et al. results, a study of nuns (Danner et al., 2001) found that “positive emotion” in written autobiographies (age 22) predicted longer lifespan *findings for discrepant findings not clear] PSYC 2P25 October 5, 2012 Not about “Type A Personality”  Some MDs suggested that many heart attack patients had similar personality – called “Type A”  “Type A” assessed using structured interviews and self-reports. Three parts” o Achievement/competitiveness o Time urgency o Hostility/aggression  Research in 1980s: o Only the Hostility part of Type A is strongly associated with heart disease (Achievement may even help in recovery)  Why is Hostility related to heart disease? o When feeling hostile, blood pressure rises and stress hormones are released causing small tears within blood vessels which can then trap fat molecules that narrow the vessels and constrict blood flow Personality and Marital Satisfaction  How does a person’s marital satisfaction relate to..  His or her own personality?  His or her spouses’ personality?  But first..  Are spouses sim
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