As if queuing on the unemployment line wasn’t stressful enough, being unemployed could be having an effect on your personality and behavior too, new research suggests.
Not having a job could affect certain aspects of your personality including how agreeable you are, amongst other traits, according to a new study by researchers in the UK and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
For the study, more than 6,000 participants were asked to self-evaluate five core personality traits in themselves over several years. The five traits were agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness.
At the start of the study, all of the participants were employed, but during the study some of them lost their jobs and remained unemployed while others lost their job but found new employment.
It was found that men and women have different responses to being unemployed as far as behavior and psychological response. When it came to the five personality traits being monitored in the study, women scored lower in agreeableness every year that they were unemployed, but men who lost their jobs recorded a temporary increase in agreeableness followed by a sharp decline after their third year of unemployment.
As far as conscientiousness was concerned, there was an immediate decline in this trait in men with a consistent decline throughout their unemployment. For women, the decline was also present but was not as consistent and ongoing as it was for the men.