Fertile personalities

Your personality has many effects on your life; it impacts how many parties you get invited to, the type of career that you pursue, the number of friends you have, and the clothes you wear. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is your personality, most of it sits beneath a surface of façade but its deep roots determine how you navigate the waters of life. In fact, a new study has shown that your personality can even predict how many children you are likely to have.

This conclusion was arrived at by Norwegian researchers who used data gathered on more than 7,000 people born between 1927 and 1968. The data included personality surveys and information on how many children were born to each person.

The data showed that there are distinct links between personality types and how many children a person is likely to have but that the links tended to differ between men and women.

It was found for instance that conscientiousness in women decreased the number of children they were likely to have; could it be that they were too busy for hanky panky? Interestingly, “openness” in men reduced the number of children they were likely to have; perhaps a genuine look into a man’s true nature is enough to extinguish any ideas of procreation in a potential female partner?

One common thread though, was that both men and women who are extraverts tended to have increased fertility as measured by having more children. Extraversion is characterised by sociability, assertiveness, emotional expressiveness, and excitability. People who are high in this trait are often described as being outgoing and talkative, while those low in this trait are described as quiet and reserved. It may be no surprise then that those life of the party, excitable types are also more likely to find themselves in situations that lead to little bundles of joy.

It does sound a note of warning however; if you are an extravert it might serve you well to avoid hooking up with another extravert unless you fancy the idea of a brood of six or seven little ones following you around.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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