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Personality, satisfaction linked throughout adult lifespan

  • Personality

Certain traits related to satisfaction in life regardless of age, study says

Read the journal article

  • The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan (PDF, 537KB)

WASHINGTON — Certain personality traits are associated with satisfaction in life, and despite the changes people may experience in social roles and responsibilities over the course of their adult lives, that association is stable regardless of age, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Many studies have shown that people with certain personality profiles are more satisfied with their life than others. Yet, it had not been extensively studied whether this holds true across the lifespan. For example, extraverted—that is sociable, talkative—people might be particularly happy in young adulthood, when they typically are forming new social relationships,” said study co-author Gabriel Olaru, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University. “We thus wanted to examine if some personality traits are more or less relevant to life, social and work satisfaction in specific life phases.”

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

To determine how the relationship between personality traits and life satisfaction changes over time, researchers analyzed data collected from 2008 to 2019 by the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) panel survey, a nationally representative survey of households in the Netherlands. Over 11 years, 9,110 Dutch participants ranging from 16 to 95 years old at the time of the first survey answered multiple questionnaires to assess their Big Five personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism—and their satisfaction with their social connections and their life overall. Only the 5,928 participants who were employed at the time of the survey also answered questions about their satisfaction with their work lives.

The researchers found that most of the relationships between personality traits and satisfaction remained the same across the adult lifespan, and that emotional stability was the trait most strongly associated with people’s satisfaction with their life, social connections and career.

“Our findings show that – despite differences in life challenges and social roles – personality traits are relevant for our satisfaction with life, work and social contacts across young, middle and older adulthood,” said Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University and another co-author on the study. “The personality traits remained equally relevant across the adult lifespan, or became even more interconnected in some cases for work satisfaction.”

The researchers also found that different personality traits were related to people’s satisfaction with their social lives and careers—most notably conscientiousness for work satisfaction, and extraversion and agreeableness for social satisfaction. People who saw increases in these traits across time also reported increases in their life, social and work satisfaction.

People’s satisfaction with their work was the most affected by differences in age. As participants in the study aged, the relationship between career satisfaction and emotional stability grew moderately stronger.

Despite a weaker correlation between openness and life satisfaction overall, the researchers found that people who increased in openness also increased in life satisfaction across the 11 years measured by the LISS survey. This relationship may be explained by indirect processes, according to the researchers.

“Emotional stability likely shows a strong link with global and domain-specific satisfaction because this trait colors people’s general view of the world,” Olaru said.

“A good example of how personality interacts with the environment can be found in the work context. One of our findings was that the link between emotional stability and work satisfaction increases across age. This might be explained by the fact that emotionally stable people are less scared to quit unsatisfactory jobs and more likely to apply for jobs that are more challenging and perhaps more fulfilling and enjoyable in the long run,” van Scheppingen added.

Future studies should examine how variables that change with age, such as income, employment status, marital status and health, affect the relationship between personality traits and overall satisfaction with life, according to the researchers.

“While we did not examine what caused these changes, [the research] shows that our personalities and our happiness are not set in stone,” van Scheppingen said. “Perhaps we may even be able to influence how we change: If we try to become more organized, outgoing, friendly, this might increase life, social or work satisfaction as well.”

Article: “The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan,” by Gabriel Olaru, PhD, and Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, Tilburg University, Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, University of Zurich, and Jaap Denissen, PhD, Utrecht University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online March 20, 2023.

Psychologists have an understanding of and capacity to engage in evidence-based and culturally-informed intervention, assessment, prevention, training, and research practices. They focus on healthy aspects and strengths of their clients (whether they are individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, or communities); environmental/contextual influences (such as cultural, sociopolitical, gender, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic factors) that shape people’s experiences and concerns; the role of career and work in peoples’ lives; and advocacy for equity and social justice.

Coughs And Cold Home Remedies – Tips For A Cold

Published on 01/17/2023
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You got a cold again? No wonder! There are over 200 different cold viruses that can get us. It affects adults up to four times a year, children even more often. But how can you quickly start the day fit again? We show you the best tips against cold symptoms.

Coughs and Cold Home Remedies – Tips For A Cold

Drink Enough

Warming herbal teas such as linden blossom tea, chamomile tea, thyme tea or elderflower tea are particularly beneficial. They not only provide fluid, but also have a calming, anti-inflammatory and warming effect. In addition, the mucus in the nose, sinuses and bronchi is liquefied from the inside. This makes it easier to blow your nose and cough up

Gargle

A cold usually begins with a sore throat, a sore throat or difficulty swallowing. Gargling with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in 1 glass of warm water) or sage tea helps against these unpleasant cold symptoms.

Cold bath

If a cold is looming, a warm cold bath is a good tip. The water should not be too hot (maximum 39 degrees, 20 minutes bathing time) and can be enriched with essential oils such as eucalyptus oil, pine needle oil or thyme oil. People at risk of allergies, people with asthma and children should avoid adding oils, this applies in particular to menthol. The essential substances it contains can irritate the respiratory tract in small children. Breathing problems up to life-threatening shortness of breath can be the result.

Rest and Relaxation

During a cold, the body is primarily concerned with getting rid of the pathogens. To do this, he needs enough energy. It is therefore a good cold tip to ensure relaxation, sufficient sleep and little stress. Physical exertion and sports should be avoided during a cold.

Home remedies

Home remedies are still a good way to relieve the common cold and get back on your feet quickly. Potato wraps, onion juice, and chicken soup are just a few examples that aid in recovery.

Inhale

Inhalations are also among the 10 best tips for colds. The inhaled water vapor moistens the airways and liquefies viscous mucus. Herbal supplements such as peppermint or chamomile have a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. For a steam inhalation you need a bowl of hot water. The head is not bent too close over the bowl and covered with a towel. Breathe deeply and calmly. Try breathing through both your mouth and your nose alternately.

Blow your nose properly

People with runny noses should be careful not to blow their noses too hard. Otherwise, the pathogenic pathogens can get into the paranasal sinuses and cause inflammation (sinusitis) there. Always hold one nostril closed and blow the other when blowing your nose. It’s safest to just wipe your nose and not blow your nose at all.

Keep warm

If you have a sore throat, wear a towel or scarf around your neck to keep it warm. Cold feet can be warmed up with a hot water bottle (caution: not if you have a fever). If your feet are cold, this leads to poor blood circulation throughout the body, especially in the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. This makes it easier for cold viruses to spread further.