Correlated change of Big Five personality traits across the lifespan: A search for determinants

T.A. Klimstra, W. Bleidorn, J.B. Asendorpf, M.A.G. van Aken, J.J.A. Denissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Correlated change between different personality traits has recently caught the attention of researchers studying personality development. We conducted two studies to examine age effects (Study 1) and effects of cognitive ability (Study 2) on this phenomenon. Results indicated that correlated change was relatively stable from adolescence through adulthood, and then increased after age 70. Second, correlated change was greater among traits that have been linked to the same developmental processes (e.g., social investment or maturation of specific neurological systems). Third, cognitive ability was negatively associated with correlated change. Collectively, our findings suggest that personality change is partly driven by broad mechanisms affecting multiple traits. Associations with age and cognitive ability provide important leads regarding the possible nature of these mechanisms.
Keywords: Personality development; Big Five; Correlated change; Five-factor model of personality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-777
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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