Reading changes people's personality

Personality development - can you change your own personality?

Today we are happy to recommend a podcast on personal development. As a guest at Tim Pritlove is the psychology professor in episode 61 of the research spirit series Jule Specht. In just under two hours, the two of them talk about Ms. Specht's main research areas.

Above all, one question is addressed that is repeatedly of central importance in personnel development, either explicitly or implicitly.


Can people change their personality?

That is a very exciting question. Basically, most of us assume that a person's personality is a relatively stable property, a so-called “trait”.

The answer to this question is, however, a little more aptly: easier in some aspects than in others. Overall, according to Jule Specht, in addition to the certainly significant genetic predisposition, it is the social circumstances and experiences of the last few years that shape a person's personality much more than genes or early childhood experiences (from 0:53:24).

According to this, personality traits are perhaps much less stable than some people assume and coaching and training can therefore also support people in changing individual aspects of their personality.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether and when this is desirable, but that is another question. In addition, the podcast is about, among other things,

  • ... what personality is in a scientific sense.
  • ... how men and women differ in their personality.
  • ... which personality traits companies pay attention to when selecting employees.

All in all, the podcast is an interesting listening introduction to personality psychology, where even advanced learners can still learn something. So why not load it onto the podcast player of choice for your upcoming vacation?

PDF with a summary of the program.



Photo: The cover photo is originally from Vic and has been slightly changed (CC BY 2.0).

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