Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 summaries

In Chapter 2, Friedman and Martin discussed how conscientiousness plays a part in longevity of life. After reviewing the research of Terman, the authors discovered a correlation between conscientiousness and length of life. Individuals who were higher in conscientiousness were less likely to suffer from an early death. These people were less likely to engage in risky behavior, such as excessive drinking or doing drugs. Highly conscientiousness individuals also suffered less from chronic diseases and are biologically predisposed to healthier living. The third correlation between high conscientiousness and longevity is healthier relationships and situations. The authors found that individuals who scored higher in conscientiousness, also developed healthier relationships  and found themselves in healthier situations. This being said, conscientiousness can be lost and developed, as an individual ages. But at every point, highly conscientiousness were more likely to live than low conscientiousness individuals.

In Chapter 3, Friedman and Martin bust the myth of sociability equating to longevity of life. More sociable people are tended to be looked at as healthier and would live a longer life. However, this sociability can have a negative effect, if the individual is too sociable. Like less conscientiousness people who were high sociable found themselves in more dangerous environments. Environments where drinking, smoking, and unhealthy behaviors were more encouraged. Less sociable people, also formed better relationships. Rather than having many relationships and friendships, less extroverted individuals formed more meaningful relationships. These connections tended to be healthier and not lead to negative health behaviors.

After reading both of these chapters, I found the results intriguing. I appreciate being able to test my own conscientiousness and sociability, but I wondered how these could actually be changed. Like when the authors states that a person that is highly conscientiousness is more disposed to a healthier life. If that’s that case, how does ones biological makeup change from becoming more conscientiousness? How does one develop more conscientiousness? How do we develop higher emotional sociability and distinguish a negative relationship from a positive one before beginning the relationship? While I believe some of the signs of a positive relationship are clear from the beginning, other signs are not as clear. People are also likely to change, so how can a person that is highly sociable predicted for these changes that could occur to their friends. These changes to a friend could also occur with less sociable people, which I believe would be more detrimental. It would cause more negative effects because the individual will have formed a closer bond to the individual because he or she does not have as many relationships, as a more sociable person. Therefore, I do not completely believe in the sociability chapter, because there are way too many confounding variables between sociability and longevity.

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