Personality in First Grade Sticks for Life: Study

Personality traits persevere decades later
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2010 3:05 PM CDT
The 1958-59 first grade class at St. Bridget's School in Chicago.   (?mike52ad)
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(Newser) – Chatty kids grow up to be intelligent adults, and children with low self-esteem remain insecure decades later, say researchers investigating how much personality changes with age. "We remain recognizably the same person," the study author tells LiveScience. "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts."

Using teacher evaluations of Hawaiian primary-school students in the 1960s, the scientists interviewed 144 of the subjects and evaluated them on verbal fluency, adaptability, impulsiveness, and self-minimizing behavior. The personality traits they exhibited as adults mirrored the behavior the teachers had documented 40 years earlier. "Life events still influence our behaviors," says the researcher, "yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well."

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