The Covid pandemic may have changed your personality

Among the marks that the pandemic has left on our lives, there are also those that affect our personality. An American psychological study shows a rapid shift towards more negativity and stress in young adults.

The pandemic associated with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is not quite over yet. We’re talking about the eighth wave, a number that makes you dizzy. Between this beginning of the school year 2022 and March 2020, i.e. only two and a half years, the pandemic left lasting marks. If you are rather young, it has probably even changed your personality.

That’s according to a study of 7,109 people published on September 28, 2022 in the journal PLOS One. It affects only the American population, but the pandemic is unique in that it impacts the world. His results therefore have a relatively universal scope.

The effects of the pandemic have increased in 2021

The authors conclude that the pandemic has had a real impact on our personalities. The finding is surprising: Most work in psychology has so far shown that natural disasters were not the cause of such changes in us. However, this short-term resilience appears to have been somewhat disrupted by the duration of the Covid.

For several months, former Prime Minister Jean Castex spoke every Thursday evening. // Source: YouTube government screenshot

There was limited personality change at the start of the pandemic, but profound changes in 2021 “, the scientists specify in a comment on their study. Among the effects on personality, they note a decrease in “tolerance”, extraversion or open-mindedness and even diligence (attention to things, in the sense of responsibility). On the other hand, what increases is a predisposition to stress and neuroticism (a psychological term that can be translated as “negativity”).

“There was limited personality change at the start of the pandemic, but profound changes in 2021”

This personality change occurs primarily in young adults – under 30 years of age. In this population it is most significant, with a damaged maturity ’, where there is almost no change in older people. This would be particularly due to the disruption in social activities normally associated with this age group.

The changes were about one-tenth of a standard deviation, which equates to about a decade of normative personality change. ‘ the researchers also note. What is striking, then, is how quickly this change is occurring, where it normally takes almost 10 years. However, there are uncertainties about sustainability: it is difficult to say whether this is a change that will last in the long term or is only temporary.

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