While the findings may be unnerving for some, Professor Sutin there was one caveat: “It is speculative because we did not measure reasons for the change, but this disruption may have had a larger impact on younger adults because these tasks are very important for this age group.”
Furthermore, the authors wrote in their discussion: “The changes cannot be attributed solely to the pandemic. Political and social upheaval co-experienced with the pandemic may have also contributed to the observed changes.
“Future research could address whether specific policy differences across states or countries have different impacts on change. Also, with few assessments of personality per participant, it was not possible to test for nonlinear changes over time. Future research would benefit from more assessments of personality to be able to test for such change.”
Alongside this, they said some personality trait changes could be “related to infection with SARS-CoV-2, particularly for individuals with severe cases and/or long COVID”.
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