After decades of research into the effects of aging, researchers have concluded that our personalities are not fixed by the time we reach our 30s, as once thought. This according to an article in BBC.com.
One of the researchers, psychologist Rene Mottus of the University of Edinburgh, explains that contrary to the widely held view that older people are more disagreeable and stubborn, the study shows that they become “increasingly able to balance their own expectations of life with societal demands.”
Psychologists call the process “personality maturation”—“a gradual, imperceptible change that begins in our teenage years and continues into at least our eighth decade on the planet,” the article notes, adding, “Intriguingly, it seems to be universal; the trend is seen across all human cultures, from Guatemala to India.”
According to the article, studies have shown that we become more altruistic and trusting, with better willpower, a stronger sense of humor and more control over our emotions. “It’s arguably a winning combination,” the article concludes, “and one which suggests that the stereotype of older people as grumpy and curmudgeonly needs some revision.”