Personality influences reproductive success

March 25, 2009

Helsinki, Finland--March 25, 2009--A new study published in the Journal of Personality reveals that personality at adolescence predicts reproductive success later in life. The study findings showed that male and female teens with socially dominant personalities were more likely to have children as adults.

Markus Jokela and Liisa Keltikangas-Jarvinen examined whether four subcomponents of type-A personality, including leadership, being hard-driving, eagerness, and aggressiveness, assessed among adolescents predicted the likelihood of having children in later life.

Adolescents who scored high on personality traits assessing leadership tendencies were more likely to have children as adults 18 years later, regardless of education level.

The findings suggest that status striving may be important for reproductive success even in modern humans when the relevant traits are measured at the right level - not as educational diplomas or high-status occupations, but as having a dominant personality.

"Our study should lead evolutionary-oriented researchers to reconsider some earlier assumptions regarding the role of evolutionary psychology in explaining modern fertility behavior," the authors conclude.
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This study is published in the Journal of Personality. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Markus Jokela is affiliated with the University of Helsinki and can be reached for questions at markus.jokela@helsinki.fi.

Journal of Personality publishes scientific investigations in the field of personality. It focuses particularly on personality and behavior dynamics, personality development, and individual differences in the cognitive, affective, and interpersonal domains. The journal reflects and stimulates interest in the growth of new theoretical and methodological approaches in personality psychology.

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley's Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.wiley.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

Wiley

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