I thought this chapter was interesting because of how it opened and drew the reader in, by telling us that the personality trait, conscientiousness, leads to longevity. Conscientiousness includes being: prudent, sensible, well-organized, responsible, persistent, not being impulsive or carefree. I found carefree to be an interesting trait to not lead to longevity. I originally thought that having a carefree personality could lead to living a longer life, due to living in the present and not having as much stress. I can understand how the other traits lead to longevity.
I agree with all three reasons the authors came up with for why being conscientious may lead to living a longer life. The first reason being that conscientious individuals are more likely to take care of their health and not partake in risky behaviors, such as smoking and drugs. This reason makes sense to me. Being responsible and aware of your bodily state and health will lead to living a healthy lifestyle. For example, conscientious individuals may be more inclined to listen to their doctor’s advice and alter their habits. The second reason for why being conscientious may lead to longevity is due to nurture. Some individuals have genes that make them less prone to disease and illness. These individuals have different chemical levels in the brain, in particular, serotonin. High levels of serotonin leads to less impulsivity. In addition, serotonin is responsible for regulating health relevant processes in the body, such as how much you eat and how well you sleep. The last reason the authors came up with, is that being conscientious leads you to forming healthier relationships. This point I agree with the most from personal experience because when you associate yourself with other conscientious and healthy individuals, you are therefore more likely to be put in healthy situations and develop stable positive relationships.
I think it is important to remember that there are exceptions to these findings, and that humans are plastic creatures that have the ability to adapt and change. Although findings did show that the individuals with high conscientiousness in childhood and were also highly conscientious as adults, lived the longest. The good news is that you can change this about yourself to increase your chances of living a longer life, although it definitely will not happen overnight. You can begin by changing some smaller habits, such as time management and keeping an organized schedule and workspace.
After reading this chapter, I believe that it is not just conscientiousness standing alone that marks longevity, but certain traits and behaviors that interplay in individuals who are conscientious; such as determination, motivation and drive. Individuals with all of these traits are more likely to succeed, land a successful career, and make a decent living. These individuals will consequently be happy because they fulfilled their goals.