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  • Writer's pictureSean Casavechia

Does Your Personality Change?

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

After many years working in the personality assessment industry, "Does your personality change?" is by far the most common question asked by clients. My standard response typically covers the following points:

Your Personality Becomes More Stable Over Time

Personalities tend to settle into place as you grow older. Your natural preferences typically become more defined in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. While certain individual traits may shift, a 180-degree reversal of our internal drivers does not usually occur.

Some will argue they have observed behavioral changes in others, and therefore these individuals' personalities must now be different. For example, someone who is not very detail-minded learns to organize their day and follow through over time.

While you can learn different time management skills and use various organizational programs to keep focused, this does not mean you now love details. You have likely just developed techniques to compensate for something that is not a core motivator.

Major Life Events Can Change Personality

Massive life-altering episodes can impact how you view the world around you and your natural preferences. Marriage/Divorce, Birth of a Child/Death, and other significant life events can alter personality.

I typically provide the extreme example of scaling back your desire for risk-taking activities after a skydiving accident. The main takeaway, it takes more than just a general mood change to impact how you show up on a personality assessment, assuming a reliable and valid instrument.

How You Measure Personality Matters

Not all assessments are created equal. Finding a psychometric assessment with high validity and reliability is critical when determining your natural motivators. Look for assessments that hold up well in test-retest situations. Meaning, how consistently do individual attribute scores hold up when tested on different occasions.

Any assessment provider worth their salt will have a current technical manual available for inspection. With a technical manual, you can determine the specific assessment construction, reliability, and validity. All important factors to consider when selecting a quality method for measuring personalities.

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