Personality and longevity: Knowns, unknowns, and implications for public health and personalized medicine

Benjamin P. Chapman, Brent Roberts, Paul Duberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review evidence for links between personality traits and longevity. We provide an overview of personality for health scientists, using the primary organizing framework used in the study of personality and longevity. We then review data on various aspects of personality linked to longevity. In general, there is good evidence that higher level of conscientiousness and lower levels of hostility and Type D or "distressed" personality are associated with greater longevity. Limited evidence suggests that extraversion, openness, perceived control, and low levels of emotional suppression may be associated with longer lifespan. Findings regarding neuroticism are mixed, supporting the notion that many component(s) of neuroticism detract from life expectancy, but some components at some levels may be healthy or protective. Overall, evidence suggests various personality traits are significant predictors of longevity and points to several promising directions for further study. We conclude by discussing the implications of these links for epidemiologic research and personalized medicine and lay out a translational research agenda for integrating the psychology of individual differences into public health and medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number759170
JournalJournal of Aging Research
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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