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Personality Traits Can Impact Decision Making And Overall Health

Posted Jan 20 2013 7:37am

From Your Health Journal…..”I love the Red Orbit site, which is why I am always promoting it and telling my visitors to read their great articles. Today, they posted something regarding personality traits and overall health. We know when people are outgoing, they most likely favor ‘immediate’ over ‘delayed’ gratification, even if they have to wait longer for the ‘ultimate’ gratification. But, a new study is stating how a personality trait can impact the way someone makes a decision. In similar research, experts have started to link a person’s personality with their long term health. Please visit the Red Orbit site (link provided below) to read the complete article. I felt it was well written and very informative. I have provided a short snip below.”

From the article…..

In addition to making individuals more outgoing or sociable, extraversion also makes people more likely to favor immediate rewards over delayed gratification – even if waiting means that the ultimate reward will be larger, according to the results of a new study presented late last week.

University of Minnesota researcher Colin DeYoung and colleagues recruited subjects to better understand how being an extravert or an introvert can impact the way in which a person’s brain makes decisions. The results of that study were presented Thursday, January 17 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) in New Orleans.

In their study, DeYoung’s team scanned study participants using an fMRI and asked each to choose between a smaller reward that they could have immediately, or a larger one which they would have to wait on – for example, being paid $15 that same day or waiting three weeks for a $25 stipend.

“They then correlated their choices and associated brain activity to various personality traits,” the SPSP explained in a statement. “They found that extraversion predicts neural activity in a region of the brain called the medial orbitofrontal cortex, which is involved in evaluating rewards. In the task, this region responded more strongly to the possibility of immediate rewards than to the possibility of delayed rewards.”

“This is a brain region where we have previously shown that extraversion predicts the size of the region, so our new study provides some converging evidence for the importance of sensitivity to reward as the basis of extraversion,” DeYoung said. The study is part of the research’s ultimate goal of trying to explain “the most important personality traits, what psychological processes those traits represent, and how those processes are generated by the brain.”

“The brain is an incredibly complicated system, and I think it’s impressive that neuroscience is making such great progress in understanding it. Linking brain function to personality is another step in understanding how the brain makes us who we are,” he added. “Understanding how people differ from each other and how that affects various outcomes is something that we all do on an intuitive basis, but personality psychology attempts to bring scientific rigor to this process… Personality affects academic and job performance, social and political attitudes, the quality and stability of social relationships, physical health and mortality, and risk for mental disorder.”

To read the full article….. Click here

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