December 8, 2022

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Have you changed during the pandemic? A new study suggests yes

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our daily lives by bringing changes. According to a new study published Wednesday, our personality is also altered.

“This pandemic has provided an unprecedented opportunity to look at how a collective stressful event can affect personality,” said study lead author Angelina Sudin, a professor of medicine at Florida State University.

For a long time, psychologists believed that a person’s characteristics were fixed. However, by looking at levels of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and comparing them to data collected in 2021 and 2022, the researchers found changes in the personality of Americans.

Levels of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness all declined in the years following the onset of the epidemic. Young people are particularly affected. There are currently only theories to explain this phenomenon.

“There is less personality stability in young people,” Ms Suddin said. “But at the same time, the pandemic has disrupted what young people have to do. They’re expected to be in school, early in their careers or transitioning. They have to go out and meet people.”

It should be noted that this study aims to identify population trends.

“So it’s not surprising that you don’t see the same change in yourself or your loved ones,” the researcher explained.

According to Brent Roberts, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who was not involved in the study, it’s also unclear whether the pandemic triggered these changes in the population.

Although these changes have been noted, the researchers cannot say how long they last, Ms. Sudin added.

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