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It’s not you, it’s me!

So you think you are the same as you were a few years ago!? Think again!

New research published in PLOS One reported that American adults experienced changes in their personalities over the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes were small but equivalent to around a decade’s worth of personality changes in only two years.

Here are the details of just how abrupt of an about face most people had–did you too?

The researchers analyzed data from 7,109 adults, aged 18 to 109, enrolled in the Understanding America Study.

The participants took personality tests that assessed the traits in the widely-accepted five-factor model of personality—neuroticism (managing stress), extroversion (connecting with others), openness (creative thinking), agreeableness (trusting others), and conscientiousness (being disciplined and responsible).

The researchers examined test results from before the pandemic, early in the pandemic (March to December 2020, according to the researchers), and later in the pandemic (January 2021 to February 2022). In the latter part of the study, researchers reported declines in extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness in the subjects—personality traits that help people navigate social situations, trust others, and act responsibly.

Particularly susceptible to these changes were young adults, who also showed an increase in neuroticism later in the pandemic. 

Even more.. younger people were affected differently..

“Younger adults became moodier and more prone to stress, less cooperative and trusting, and less restrained and responsible,” the authors of the study told The Guardian.

Whether it was the pandemic, or just something else that coincided with the global upheaval, something certainly did seem to change. Something seemed to alter.. what was normal has turned upside down. What was accepted has become widely denounced.. something, for sure, has changed..