01162822177 enquiries@rowleyturton.com

How did lockdown change our personalities?

11th September 2020

head, brain, personality

 

There wasn’t just one lockdown – each person had their own unique experience over the three and a half months that were unlike any before. Some were involuntarily forced into months of solitude, while others were holed up in close contact with family members. For some, it was a chance to slow down while for others it meant taking on far more pressure in their work or family life than usual.

Despite what we might think, our personalities are far from stable. Modern psychological research demonstrates that while we may have some relatively stable personality traits, they are flexible. They continue to evolve throughout our lives and in response to major life events, something the coronavirus lockdown certainly was for most of us.

When lockdown measures were announced at the end of March, people were, en masse, forced out of their comfort zone and daily routines. Wiebke Bleidorn from the Personality Change Laboratory at the University of California speculates that this sudden shift to different daily patterns could have encouraged us to develop new norms that, over the long term, will shape our personalities beyond the Covid pandemic.

It’s possible that you will have emerged from lockdown with some new personality traits, be they likes, dislikes, passions, or changes to how you socialise.

As we have only just exited lockdown, psychologists haven’t been able to collect enough long term data to firmly identify any behavioural trends that might have emerged. 

Some psychologists say there won’t be an average effect on our personalities that the majority of us will share because of the uniqueness of each person’s experience of the pandemic.

However, there is speculation that lockdown might have turbo-charged our personal growth. 

The additional time to reflect might have increased our ‘self-concept clarity’. This term refers to the degree to which we develop coherent beliefs about ourselves and our goals in life. Ultimately, this could lead people to follow paths and make choices that resonate with them on a more profound level post-lockdown.

Psychological studies about long periods in isolation that preceded lockdown, which focused on people staying in the Antarctic or on simulated missions to Mars, reported long periods of isolation as causing depression and other detrimental effects on participants’ wellbeing. 

However, recently released studies on loneliness during lockdown show little adverse effects on people’s wellbeing. Researchers from the University of Durham and the University of Reading speculate that this was because many used the solitude that lockdown forced upon them as a time for reinvigoration, where people took action in order to stop their wellbeing deteriorating. 

What’s more, modern technology gave people more ways to stay in touch with one another. Social media and technology meant many friends and families still found time to socialise virtually. Families across the country made an effort to virtually socialise each week.

Broader scientific literature shows us that people are highly adaptive and generally develop when placed in difficult circumstances, suggesting that, again, we’ll find a way to cope with lockdown if measures are reintroduced following a second wave.

We appreciate that lockdown has been stressful for many people so, if you have any concerns, or would just like to talk to someone, please feel free to give us a call. It does not just have to be about financial matters and we'd be happy to hear from you.

 

Subscribe to receive your FREE regular newsletter

Award, Investment, Life, Pension, Moneyfacts, 2015, Estate, Tax, Planner, of the Year, Best, Adviser   PFS, Pension Transfer, Gold, Standard, Final Salary, DB, Defined Benefit  Independent Financial Adviser, IFA, Independent, Financial, Adviser, Advisor    

Retirement Planner, award, firm of the year, midlands, 2018, pensions, advice Rowley Turton (IFA) Limited profile Chartered Financial Planners, Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered, Financial, Planner

Rowley Turton (IFA) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No: 457946 http://www.fca.org.uk/register.

Rowley Turton (IFA) Ltd Registered Address: Bramcote House, Ervington Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1WL. Registered in England & Wales, No. 3145431.

Neither Rowley Turton (IFA) Ltd nor its representatives can be held responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate National Savings or some forms of mortgage, tax planning, taxation and trust advice, offshore investments or school fees planning.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. Full details of the FOS can be found on its website at http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

The information contained within this site is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore targeted primarily at consumers based in the UK.

Please read our Privacy Statement before completing any enquiry form or before sending an email to us.