Before reading these chapters, I had not really considered the importance of conscientiousness in regards to longevity. It makes sense to think that a person who makes conscientious decisions will live a longer, more stable life, but I would have probably guessed that sociability was equally, if not more, important than conscientiousness. I think we grow up hearing so many negative stereotypes about being shy or introverted, that this is why we tend to focus so much on trying to be social and having friends as we grow up. Although both are important, the authors remind me that we must find a balance and that being shy is not necessarily bad nor does it affect longevity as strongly as we are pushed to believe.
I appreciate the three self-assessments the book provides, because they allowed me to put my own behavior and lifestyle into perspective. Being able to answer all these questions about myself and then compute a score to determine my level of emotional sociability, for example, allowed me to consider what I was reading from an entirely different perspective. The authors’ incorporation of these interactive assessments is important because it lets readers know that the concepts they are reading about apply to everyone. Longevity is something that concerns everyone, despite any psychiatric, social or physical differences we may have.