Personality and longevity: findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study.


Journal Article

Centenarians are thought of as unique and exceptional survivors. This study evaluated specific personality traits and configurations of traits among participants of the Georgia Centenarian Study. Two hundred and eighty five centenarians and their nominated proxies participated in this study. Self ratings and proxy informant ratings were obtained for different traits and facets of the Big-5 personality typology. Results suggested that centenarians overall had low levels of Neuroticism, but high levels of Extraversion, Competence, and Trust. When compared to centenarian self ratings, proxies provided significantly higher ratings for Neuroticism, Hostility, and Vulnerability, but lower ratings for Competence and Trust. Among Centenarians, the personality configuration of low Neuroticism, high Competence, and high Extraversion traits is over-represented relative to chance. The results confirm that centenarians show several unique single traits, but that a special combination of traits (i.e., low levels of Neuroticism, high Competence, and high Extraversion) are also notable in this group of exceptional survivors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, P; da Rosa, G; Siegler, IC; Davey, A; Macdonald, M; Poon, LW; Georgia Centenarian Study,

Published Date

  • December 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 343 - 352

PubMed ID

  • 22253500

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22253500

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0161-9152

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11357-006-9022-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands