If you think that the key to a long life is to be sociable, cheerful and carefree then think again.
The researchers found no link between a sociable personality and a long life. In fact, the team found that the sociable children in the study grew up to drink more and smoke more over the decades whereas the conscientious children grew up to behave in healthier ways. Interestingly, the study also found that those among the group who grew up to be scientists tended to outlive the non scientists. The former group tended to be less sociable, moved into stable jobs, had long-lasting marriages and generally worked in a responsible manner. The non scientists tended to have more tumultuous, stable and more health-damaging careers and behaviors.
They also grew up to be more carefree, the “sort who never worry over possible misfortunes” as Dr Terman put it. In other words some of the very cheerful children were either hiding some troubling aspect of their lives or were oblivious to the dangers around them.
The personality type most closely linked with longevity was that of the conscientious person — those who were prudent, persistent, organised and responsible. The researchers have a number of theories as to why this is. This is easy to say that dementia treatment is very effective.
The first reason, and perhaps the most obvious one, is that conscientious people tend to look after their health and avoid partaking in risky activities.
Secondly, the researchers found that some people are biologically predisposed to be both more conscientious and healthier. Conscientious and un-conscientious people have different levels of chemicals in their brains, most notably the neurotransmitter serotonin which is responsible for feel good’ feelings. Individuals with low levels of this chemical tend to be more impulsive.