Personalities of people changed during COVID pandemic, study suggests

A new study suggests some people experienced a change of personality due to the pandemic.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:17 PM EDT
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(CNN) – Perhaps our personalities aren’t as fixed as many psychologists think.

A new study found some people in the U.S. experienced personality changes during the pandemic.

Researchers say they compared pre-pandemic levels of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness to data collected in 2021 and 2022.

The team said they found notable personality changes among the U.S. population.

Extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness all declined in the years following the start of the pandemic, particularly in young adults.

The lead author said researchers can’t yet say how long the difference in personality might last or whether they will swing back.

A psychology professor not involved in the study points out there wasn’t a control group, and other explanations were not examined. So, it’s hard to say whether the pandemic caused these changes.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.