The healthiest personality traits include stable emotions, openness to feelings, the experience of positive emotions and being agreeable, new research finds.
People with these traits tend to have higher self-esteem, be more optimistic and find it easier to regulate their emotions.
The conclusions come from a survey of both professional psychologists and college students, totalling in the thousands.
Both gave surprisingly similar answers to what constitutes a healthy personality, said Dr Wiebke Bleidorn, the study’s first author:
“People in general, no matter whether they are experts or not, seem to have quite a clear idea of what a healthy personality looks like.”
The study revealed that people with the healthiest personalities have the following traits:
- Openness to feelings
- Positive emotions
- Low depression
- Low anxiety
- Low impulsivity
- Low stress vulnerability
- Low anger hostility
Naturally, those with healthy personalities also scored lower in narcissism and exploitativeness.
However, they scored higher in more healthy aspects of narcissism, such as self-sufficiency and grandiosity.
Similarly, on tests of psychopathy, healthy people scored lower on negative traits like disinhibition, but higher on positive traits like boldness.
The study’s authors concluded:
“Individuals with high scores on the healthy personality index were psychologically well-adjusted, had high self-esteem, good self-regulatory skills, an optimistic outlook on the world, and a clear and stable self-view.
These individuals were low in aggression and meanness, unlikely to exploit others, and were relatively immune to stress and self-sufficient.”
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The study was published in PsyArXiv (Bleidorn et al., 2018).