The change and stability of NEO scores over six-years: a British study and a short review

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Personality and Individual Differences


Adrian Furnham and Helen Cheng

Publication date


This study investigated the change and stability of the Big-Five personality factors measured on a short scale. Fifteen similar studies using longer instruments were reviewed. In this study 7554 participants aged between 16 and 92 years completed a short 15 item FFM inventory twice six years apart in a large British sample. As expected, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Extroversion significantly increased, whereas Neuroticism significantly decreased, and Openness remained essentially the same over the time period. Participants were divided into six age groups and the results were broadly similar. Correlational analysis showed all five personality factors were considerably stable over six years after controlling for gender and age (r = 0.47 to r = 0.60, p < .001). Implications and limitations of using short scales particularly problems of measurement invariance, are acknowledged.

Volume and page numbers

144, 105-110





Psychology, Survey Methodology and Life Course Analysis