The Association Between Five Factor Model Personality Traits and Verbal and Numeric Reasoning.

TitleThe Association Between Five Factor Model Personality Traits and Verbal and Numeric Reasoning.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSutin, AR, Stephan, Y, Luchetti, M, Strickhouser, JE, Aschwanden, D, Terracciano, A
JournalNeuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section B, Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
ISSN Number1744-4128
Keywordsmeta-analysis, numeric reasoning, Personality Traits, Reasoning, verbal abilities

Five-factor model (FFM) personality traits are related to basic cognitive functions and risk of cognitive impairment in late life. The present study addresses whether FFM traits are also associated with a more complex cognitive function, reasoning, across adulthood. We used seven samples to examine the relation between personality and verbal (total = 39,177) and numeric (total = 76,388) reasoning. A meta-analysis indicated higher Neuroticism was associated modestly with worse performance on verbal and numeric reasoning tasks. Openness was associated with better verbal reasoning and was unrelated to numeric reasoning. Surprisingly, Extraversion was associated modestly with worse performance in both domains, and Conscientiousness was essentially unrelated to reasoning. Agreeableness was unrelated to reasoning. There was significant heterogeneity across the samples but only limited evidence for moderation by age or sex. Consistent with other cognitive domains, the results suggested that Neuroticism is related to worse performance globally, whereas Openness tends to be associated with better verbal abilities. Among the unexpected findings was the better reasoning of introverts. The pattern also suggests that the common positive association between Conscientiousness and cognition does not extend to reasoning and suggests that Conscientiousness may support healthier cognitive aging through basic cognitive functions rather than through complex functions like reasoning.

Citation Key11386
PubMed ID33465008
PubMed Central IDPMC8286974