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Personality Can Influence Reproductive Success

March 26, 2009

A new study published in the Journal of Personality reveals that personality at adolescence predicts reproductive success later in life. The study findings showed that male and female teens with socially dominant personalities were more likely to have children as adults.

Markus Jokela and Liisa Keltikangas-Jarvinen examined whether four subcomponents of type-A personality, including leadership, being hard-driving, eagerness, and aggressiveness, assessed among adolescents predicted the likelihood of having children in later life.

Adolescents who scored high on personality traits assessing leadership tendencies were more likely to have children as adults 18 years later, regardless of education level.

The findings suggest that status striving may be important for reproductive success even in modern humans when the relevant traits are measured at the right level ““ not as educational diplomas or high-status occupations, but as having a dominant personality.

“Our study should lead evolutionary-oriented researchers to reconsider some earlier assumptions regarding the role of evolutionary psychology in explaining modern fertility behavior,” the authors conclude.

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