The policy relevance of personality traits

W. Bleidorn*, Patrick Hill, Mitja D. Back, Jaap Denissen, M. Hennecke, Christopher J. Hopwood , M. Jokela, Christian Kandler, Richad E. Lucas , Maike Luhmann, Ulrich Orth, Jenny Wagner, Cornelia Wrzus, Johannes Zimmrmann , Brent Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Personality traits are powerful predictors of outcomes in the domains of education, work, relationships, health, and well-being. The recognized importance of personality traits has raised questions about their policy relevance –that is, their potential to inform policy actions designed to improve human welfare. Traditionally,the use of personality traits in applied settings has been predicated on their ability to predict valued outcomes, typically under the assumption that traits are functionally unchanging. This assumption, however, is both untrue and a limiting factor on using personality traits more widely in applied settings.In this paper, we present the case that traits can serve both as relatively stable predictors of success and action able targets for policy changes and interventions.Though trait change will likely prove a more difficult target than typical targets in applied interventions, it also may be a more fruitful one given the variety of life domains affected by personality traits
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1067
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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