According to recent research published by the American Psychological Association in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, there are specific personality traits that are consistently linked to higher levels of life satisfaction – regardless of age.
The study, conducted by researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, analysed data collected over 11 years from a nationally representative survey of households. The survey included 9,110 Dutch participants aged 16 to 95, who were asked to assess their satisfaction with their life overall, social connections and work life, as well as their Big Five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism.
Results revealed that emotional stability was the personality trait most strongly associated with people’s satisfaction with their life, social connections and career. In fact, the researchers found that most of the relationships between personality traits and satisfaction remained the same across the adult lifespan. This means that traits like extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness continue to play an important role in social and work satisfaction throughout a person’s life.
Interestingly, it was also found that people who saw increases in these traits over time reported increases in their life, social and work satisfaction. In other words, it’s never too late to make positive changes to your personality and increase your overall satisfaction with life.
While the researchers acknowledged that variables such as income, employment status, marital status and health may also affect the relationship between personality traits and overall satisfaction with life, their findings provide valuable insight into what makes people truly happy and fulfilled.
So, if you’re looking to increase your own satisfaction with life, consider working on traits like emotional stability, conscientiousness and agreeableness. Who knows – you might just unlock the secret to a truly satisfying life.