Conscientiousness seems to be the personality trait most closely linked to longevity.


Noam Shapancer, an academic psychologist, reports that there is a link between the ‘Big Five’ personality trait, conscientiousness and living a longer life.

The Big Five personality traits are:

  • Extraversion.
  • Agreeableness.
  • Openness.
  • Conscientiousness.
  • Neuroticism.

Conscientiousness is defined by Psychology Today as:

  • ....a fundamental personality trait—one of the Big Five—that reflects the tendency to be responsible, organized, hard-working, goal-directed, and to adhere to norms and rules……
  • A conscientious person is good at self-regulation and impulse control. This trait influences whether you will set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices, behave cautiously or impulsively, and take obligations to others seriously.

Conscientiousness has also been linked to health-related behaviours such as not smoking and taking regular exercise. Shapancer also notes that there might be a link between conscientiousness and the immune system. Think about how an organisation might, through education and training, develop a more conscientious workforce.