How Being An Extravert May Give Your Immune System A Boost

December 15, 2014 1:42 PM

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In their 2012 book "The Longevity Project," which looked at research over the course of 80 years, authors Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin identified an association between being conscientious and a longer life span. "Conscientiousness, which was the best predictor of longevity when measured in childhood, also turned out to be the best personality predictor of long life when measured in adulthood," the authors wrote in their book. "The young adults who were thrifty, persistent, detail oriented, and responsible lived the longest." Why do more prudent people tend to live longer? According to the authors, this group is more likely to take care of their health and avoid risks, and they also develop healthier relationships, whether it be romantic, friendly or work-related. "That's right, conscientious people create healthy, long-life pathways for themselves," Friedman and Martin wrote. And finally, the researchers point out that some people seem to have a biological predisposition toward a more careful personality. "While we are not yet sure of the precise physiological reasons," they write, "it appears that conscientious and un- conscientious people have different levels of certain chemicals in their brains, including serotonin." For more on the phenomenon, and other insights into longevity, check out "The Longevity Project" here.

In a study published this past May in the journal Aging, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yeshiva University pinpointed several personality traits linked to a longer lifespan. Among the list? Frequent laughter, HuffPost reported when the findings were released. "When I starte...

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