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Birth Cohort Changes in Extraversion
A lot of studies have been conducted explaining human personality trait. Of those many, Jean Twenge’s study incorporating a meta-analysis technique to examine birth cohort changes in extraversion – one of the most studied personality traits, gives a whole new perspective in the field of psychology and social sciences. The cross meta-analysis demonstrates a large birth cohort effect for extraversion among her respondents, the American college students. The large birth cohort effect holds true to both the EPI and EPQ. Extraversion scores shift between 0.79 and 0.97 SDs from the late 1960s or early 1970s then to early 1990s. What does this tell us? It explains between 14 to 19% of the variation in scores, demonstrating an increase in extraversion.
Furthermore, participants were mostly students in different institutions in America, composed of both males and females although the female participants were more in number. It was established that the degree in changes for personality alteration differs for both genders. Another factors considered were income and ethnicity although it was noted that the median family income of students has not changed and it’s ambiguous what effects more college enrollment would have on extraversion scores.
As a result of the study, men and women’s results on the EPI and EPQ extraversion tiers were optimistically interconnected with the year they concluded the measure. It goes without saying that the cross-temporal meta-analysis demonstrates a large birth cohort effect for extraversion among American collage students. The analysis provided strength in such a way that the data used were based on the respondents’ contemporaneous self-reports of their individual personalities, the increase in extraversion replicated both measures and in samples from both men and women and that it all came from a large number of respondents.
The study provided some clarifications on different aspect of psychology. First, the third influence on personality, birth cohort, as shown by evidence, turns out to be a proxy for the bigger sociocultural background. Second, it become clear that cross-sectional studies confound age and cohort differences has serious consequences yet it can be reconciled that birth cohort may vary distinctly in their responses to personality inventories. Third, it was also shown, through different studies that history and community perspectives have a convincing impact on the mindset of individuals. Therefore, the presence of strong cohort differences suggests that these generalizations cannot and should not be made despite the many psychological studies conducted in different times because what transpired in the early 1970s, for example, may not be applicable in the present time where everything evolves faster than human beings could catch up.