Flexibility and Impulsivity

Another example of personality change can be found in a study of creative architects. In this study, researchers measured personality twice, with the testings separated by 25 years (Dudek & Hall, 1991). Two large personality inventories were administered at each testing—the CPI (California Psychological Inventory) and the ACL (Adjective Check List). The architects were tested at the beginning of their careers and again 25 years later. Some of the architects turned out to be very successful and creative, whereas others were just average architects. At both testings, the highly creative architects displayed personalities consisting of high scores on spontaneity , intensity of motivation, and independence. The less creative architects, on the other hand, started out with mainly high scores on conformity and continued to show higher scores on conformity 25 years later . The participants as a whole, however , showed a marked decrease in impulsivity and flexibility as they aged. These findings correspond wit our intuitions about older people—they tend to reign in their impulses and perhaps become a bit more fixed in their ways and more rigid as they age

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