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The Long Term Effect Of Unemployment on Personality

Updated : February 5th, 2021

Unemployment is not a pleasant phase of life. For the ones who depend on monthly salary credits into the bank account, jobless days tend to slow down life. Most of us would have passed through this phase at least once, if not more. Leading life without a job can hurt financially as well as emotionally. We stumbled upon an interesting study titled “Unemployment and Personality” which throws light on change in personality traits of people who experienced some sort of  jobless over a period of time.

Personality Change Following Unemployment

The study correlates how unemployment affects key personality traits in a long run. Led by Chris Boyce of the University of Warwick, the team used a big preexisting data set of German nationals. A large audience of 6,769 people were given a standard personality inventory and asked to provide ratings on Big Five personality characteristics – agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness. Four years after this exercise, the same set or workers were given the personality inventory tracking their employment status during this period.

Unemployment and Personality

This helped the research team in linking alterations in personality traits to phases of unemployment. Among the audience, 451 experienced some joblessness between 2006 and 2009. The motive of this study was met when these candidates showed change in the five personality characteristics. There was little change recorded in those who had no or little break in employment during the 4 year phase. The results of this study also show variation in opinion based on gender.

Before this study, one could not think of unemployment as one of the prime factors that leads to change in personality. The study though, does not consider into account the reason for changes in personality traits.

The Close

We must conclude by saying that unemployment is a phase of life that can lead to a lot of changes, personality wise. It can redefine who you’re, your commitments and have a say in relationships. The only hope is that these changes are progressive in nature and not create any drifts. For financial assistance during jobless phase, make use of government funded benefits such as unemployment insurance which gives you up to 26 weeks of monetary compensation which will be sufficient to meet the basic needs.

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