Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Personality plus: Researchers find link to energy rates

Date:
February 14, 2013
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
People with a more resilient personality profile are more likely to have greater aerobic capacity, which may contribute to better health and longevity.

People with a more resilient personality profile are more likely to have greater energy levels.

That's one of the conclusions from a four-year research project led by Antonio Terracciano, associate professor of geriatrics at the Florida State University College of Medicine. His findings are outlined in "Personality, Metabolic Rate and Aerobic Capacity," published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, open access journal.

With funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Terracciano, College of Medicine Assistant Professor Angelina Sutin and NIA colleagues studied the relationship between personality, metabolic rate and aerobic capacity.

Past studies have demonstrated that personality traits and cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults are reliable predictors of health and longevity. But Terracciano wanted to know more about the link between psychological traits and cardiorespiratory fitness. Could it be that certain personality traits predict the extent of a person's cardiorespiratory fitness?

Or, to take it a step further, are certain personality traits more desirable when it comes to leading a longer, healthier life?

"We tested implicit assumptions that individuals with certain personality dispositions have different metabolic and energetic profiles," Terracciano said. "For example, do those who are assertive and bold expend more energy? Do those who are depressed or emotionally vulnerable have a lower aerobic capacity and less energy? And do conscientious individuals with an active and healthy lifestyle have more energy?"

The answer, on all counts, appears to be yes.

The results indicate that a person's basic rate of metabolism is mostly unrelated to their personality traits. However, a resilient personality profile makes a difference when it comes to aerobic capacity or maximal sustained energy expenditure. The study involved 642 participants, ages 31 to 96, all part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, an ongoing multidisciplinary study at the NIA.

Terracciano and his team assessed personality traits to include measures of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Lower scores on neuroticism and higher scores on the other four dimensions are thought to be a more resilient personality profile.

Subjects were tested to measure their energy expenditure at rest and at normal and maximal sustained walking speeds. Those identified as more neurotic required a longer time to complete the walking task and had lower aerobic capacity.

Conversely, those who scored lower for neuroticism and higher for conscientiousness, extraversion or openness had better aerobic capacity and required less energy to complete the same distance.

"Those with a more resilient personality profile were not just faster and with greater aerobic capacity, but they were also more efficient in their energy expenditure while walking," Terracciano said. "That is, they could go faster while using relatively less energy.

"Of the five domains of personality, we found no association with agreeableness," Terracciano said. "This is somewhat surprising given that antagonistic individuals are likely to engage in health risk behaviors, such as smoking, and they tend to have thicker arteries and are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease."

The results may indicate that aerobic capacity is one mechanism through which our personality traits contribute to better health and longevity. Also, greater aerobic capacity in an individual may be a factor in shaping his or her personality, especially when it comes to behaviors that require a higher level of energy, such as extraversion.

Furthermore, the findings suggest potential pathways through which our personality is linked to health outcomes, such as obesity and longevity.

Terracciano said the results highlight the links between personality traits and cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults.

"Both are powerful predictors of disability and mortality," he said. "I believe this study is informative on the role of psychological traits in lifestyles that are associated with successful aging."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Antonio Terracciano, Jennifer A. Schrack, Angelina R. Sutin, Wayne Chan, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci. Personality, Metabolic Rate and Aerobic Capacity. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e54746 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054746

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Personality plus: Researchers find link to energy rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214120516.htm>.
Florida State University. (2013, February 14). Personality plus: Researchers find link to energy rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214120516.htm
Florida State University. "Personality plus: Researchers find link to energy rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214120516.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins