Only the jerks die young, to live long longer become conscientious

Tuesday, 8 March, 2011

Live fast, or hard… and die young, in the longevity stakes its the well-behaved, conscientiousness, and confident, who will outlive the rest of us.

Studies have shown for nearly 20 years that the key personality trait that predicts longevity is conscientiousness. In one long-term study, students judged by their parents and teachers to be conscientious as 12-year-olds were more likely to be alive when researchers followed up 64 years later. Surprisingly, though, the same study found that cheerfulness was related to greater mortality risk, suggesting that happy, popular kids turn out to be at greater risk for disease later on, perhaps because they feel overly confident about their abilities to defeat life’s difficulties.

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