Personalities Don’t Usually Change Quickly but They May Have During the Pandemic

The global coronavirus pandemic disrupted almost everything about our lives, from how we work and go to school, to how we socialize (Zoom happy hours, anyone?!), and ultimately strained trust in many of the overarching systems we depend on, from health care to government.

New research suggests it may have changed Americans’ personalities, too, and not for the better.

Typically, major personality traits remain fairly stable throughout life, with most change happening in young adulthood or when stressful personal life events occur. It’s rare to see population-wide personality shifts, even after stressful events, but in a new study in the journal PLOS One, psychologists found just that in the wake of the pandemic.

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