Does Childhood Personality Affect Longevity Essay example

1189 Words Apr 30th, 2013 5 Pages
Psychology of Aging
Research Paper

Say you’re the teacher of a fourth grade elementary class. The class consists of about forty kids, each with different personalities and characteristics that make them extremely unique. Throughout the school year you learn more about each kid. How they do in social situations? Who is the hard worker, or leader? Through observation you identify the more optimistic students compared to the pessimistic ones. Or introverted compared to extroverted. These are all different dispositional traits that you have noticed through the students in your class. Now, what if I were to tell you that these dispositional traits could play a huge role on your student’s longevity? This is a question that psychologists
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Gender differences also had to be dealt with accordingly also. Reason being, females average life expectancy is roughly 6-10 more years (Data ranges over different countries) than males. Beginning the experiment, one of the subject’s parents was asked to sit down with the subject’s teacher at that time and together rate the subjects personality with a given 25-trait dimension. Now that all of the participant’s dispositions were categorized accordingly, the next step was to create equations that would evaluate a person’s life expectancy at different points in their lives. Although several analyses were made during this experiment, the focal one was the hazard regression analysis. This analysis calculated mortality rate at all different ages by closely relating it to the personality dimension of the participant (Friedman, Tucker, Tomlinson-Keasey, Schwartz & Wingard, 1993). After running through all the data and placing it in the appropriate equations, astounding results were revealed. As expected woman had a greater life expectancy then men, along with showing a mortality hazard rate that was two-thirds the rate of men. Out of the six different personalities that a subject could have been, two tested positive to being strong predictors on influencing longevity, whether it be longer or shorter life expectancy. These dispositions were Conscientiousness and Cheerfulness. Conscientiousness predicted longer longevity and cheerfulness predicted a
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