The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up our daily lives by bringing about changes. According to a new study published on Wednesday, it was also possible to modify our personality.
“The pandemic has provided an unprecedented opportunity to learn how a collective stressful event can affect personality,” said study lead author Angelina Soutin, MD, professor of medicine at Florida State University.
For a long time, psychologists believed that a person’s character traits remained the same. However, by looking at levels of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness and comparing them to data collected in 2021 and 2022, researchers found changes in the personality of the American population.
Levels of extraversion, acceptance, and conscientiousness declined in the years following the onset of the epidemic. Young people were particularly affected. At the moment there are only theories that would explain this phenomenon.
“Character is less stable in young people,” Ms. Sutin said. But at the same time, the pandemic has disrupted what young people are supposed to do. They are expected to be in school, early in their career or in a career transition. They’re supposed to go out and meet people.”
It should be noted that this study aims to identify the population trend.
“So it’s not surprising that you don’t see the same change in yourself or your loved ones,” the researcher explained.
It’s also unclear whether the pandemic caused these changes in the population, according to Brent Roberts, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who was not involved in the study.
Even if these changes are observed, the researchers can’t say how long they might last, Suten added.
“Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek.”