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How Success Can Change Personality? Personality Psychology Podcast Episode.

personality psychology, cognitive psychology, how success can change personality

Our personality can affect our behaviour in a lot of different ways. In this great personality psychology episode, we’ll see how success can change a person’s personality and behaviour! This is a great episode!

Today’s psychology podcast episode has been sponsored by Personality Psychology and Individual Differences. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.

The Five-Factor Model Of Personality

Proposed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, the Five-Factor Model of Personality, in essence, proposes that humans have five basic personality dimensions and the individuals differences between people are down to the varying levels of these different dimensions. As well as personality traits a part of different personality dimensions.

In addition, these personality dimensions are: Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, Extraversion, Conscientiousness and agreeableness. I’ll talk about what each of these are in a moment and how they relate to success.

How Success Can Change Personality?

Each of these Five Factors of Personality are related to success and success can change these dimensions in different ways.


This personality dimension is related to how people deal with worry and stress. As well as people high in this personality trait tend to have maladaptive strategies to deal with stress.

Sounds familiar with clinical psychology, doesn’t it?

Linking this to success, people high in neuroticism don’t tend to achieve very much in their career because neuroticism hinders their abilities.

Although, some people with higher neuroticism can manage to achieve success because they learn to suppress their tendencies to worry less and learn better management strategies so they can deal with stress and worry better.

Openness to Experience

Our next personality trait is all about how much people are willing to accept new ideas and experience new things. This makes it great for success because people high in this personality trait are more likely to be successful and think outside the box to come up with innovative new solutions to problems in their career.


Interestingly, it appears that whilst extroversion may lead to increased success at first. Over success can lead to decreased levels of extroversion. Researchers have suggested this is because the successful people may depend less on the support of others meaning they have less sociable demands.

In other words, extroverts become successful because of their ability to bond with people and radiate so-called positive vibes. But when they get successful and let’s say becomes a manager there’s a power shift so the extrovert can’t rely on other people anymore. Potentially starving the extrovert of the energy they crave since extroverts tend to get their energy from other people.


Related to carefulness and diligence, people high in this personality trait actually tend to earn lower incomes because these people tend to seek out conventional jobs. As well as they tend to be less likely to ascend the career ladder.

Equally, the people are high in this personality trait and end up in high career positions, interestingly enough they aren’t too interested in the little details. Resulting in success leading to a decrease in conscientiousness.


You can guess what this personality dimension is about because of the name but this is where research gets very muddy. Some research says it’s best to be nice to others and prosocial to get ahead. Other research says it’s best to be ruthless to ascend the career ladder.

However, the general idea is people high in agreeableness tend to have low starting salaries but then they can ascend the career ladder. With their prosocial side kicking in when they’re raised to a position of power because they no longer have to climb over people.


Overall, personality psychology is a great and very interesting area to study. And as today’s episode has shown our personality can affect our success and our success can affect our personality.

It’s a great interaction!

I really hoped you enjoyed today’s episode.

If you want to learn more, please check out:

Personality Psychology and Individual Differences. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.

Have a great day!

Personality Psychology References

Lodi-Smith, J., & Roberts, B. W. (2007). Social investment and personality: a meta-analysis of the relationship of personality traits to investment in work, family, religion, and volunteerism. Personality and Social Psychology Reviews, 11(1), 68-86. doi:10.1177/1088868306294590

Hirschi, A. (2012). Callings and work engagement: Moderated mediation model of work meaningfulness, occupational identity, and occupational self-efficacy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(3), 479-485. doi:10.1037/a0028949

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