old and young
Representational ImageCreative Commons

Does your personality really define you? If you think it does, the definition would keep changing with time then. A recent study revealed that the personality traits of an individual don't remain the same the entire life.

The study involving 50,000 people over the course of several decades found that the traditional belief of personality being fixed and unchanged after adolescence is not really true.

It showed that as people grew older, there was a decline in the five major personality traits which the psychologists have come to trust as the gold-standard.

According to a Business Insider report, the latest study combined 14 longitudinal studies and gathered information about people's personalities by taking data from the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.

As many of the subjects had already reached adulthood, it gave the researchers a unique perspective on personality changes.

The Big Five personality traits – neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness, extroversion, and agreeableness showed major fluctuations in the participants' lives.

Researchers found that except for agreeableness, all the other traits showed downward trends of about 1-2 percent per decade across the overall studies.

This showed that the so-called "Dolce Vita" effect was real – as people grow old, they enjoy fewer social responsibilities and do more of what they want.

With time, people can become less neurotic, less open about trying new things, less conscientious and become more selfish, and also less extroverted as they like to keep more to themselves.

Researchers noted that these trends appeared at nearly every stage of the 14 studies. They also noted that it was mostly steady across different geographical regions.

However, some regions deviated from the norm. Researchers noted that the decline of extroversion was more in the people of the US.