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Understanding personality for decision-making, longevity, and mental health
Date:1/17/2013

January 17, 2013 New Orleans Extraversion does not just explain differences between how people act at social events. How extraverted you are may influence how the brain makes choices specifically whether you choose an immediate or delayed reward, according to a new study. The work is part of a growing body of research on the vital role of understanding personality in society.

"Understanding how people differ from each other and how that affects various outcomes is something that we all do on an intuitive basis, but personality psychology attempts to bring scientific rigor to this process," says Colin DeYoung of the University of Minnesota, who worked on the new study. "Personality affects academic and job performance, social and political attitudes, the quality and stability of social relationships, physical health and mortality, and risk for mental disorder."

DeYoung is one of several researchers presenting new work in a special session today about personality psychology at a conference in New Orleans. "DeYoung's research in biology and neuroscience aids in the development of theories of personality that provide explanations for persistent patterns of behavior and experience," says David Funder of the University of California, Riverside, who is the new president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). "The researchers presenting at this session represent just what personality psychology can achieve and its relevance for important social issues from how personality affects health to guidance for the new DSM-5."

Personality to understand neural differences

In the new study, DeYoung and colleagues scanned people in an fMRI and asked them to choose between smaller immediate rewards or larger delayed rewards, for example $15 today versus $25 in three weeks. They then correlated their choices and associated brain activity to various personality traits.

They found that extraversion predicts
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Contact: Lisa M.P. Munoz
spsp.publicaffairs@gmail.com
703-951-3195
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Source:Eurekalert

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