Rich with personality: Millionaires more outgoing, emotionally stable, study says

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MÜNSTER, Germany — There’s an old saying that money can change a person. Now, European researchers suggest some millionaires may actually change for the better. Scientists from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the University of Münster say millionaires tend to be more extraverted, open, risk-tolerant, conscientious, and emotionally stable than others.

Importantly, these qualities are particularly apparent among self-made millionaires, or people who started out in life with far less and had to earn their wealth. Researchers used data supplied by the SOEP, which is a representative random sample of the German population. In 2019, researchers added an additional sub-sample of 2,000 wealthy individuals to the SOEP. Fast forward to today, and the panel routinely polls over 1,100 millionaires whose net worth averages around four million euros ($4.39 million).

“This means that the very wealthy are now overrepresented in the SOEP, making it possible to analyze this very small population in a meaningful way,” explains SOEP researcher Carsten Schröder, who initiated the top-wealth sub-sample, in a university release.

Self-made millionaires exhibit these qualities most often, while other millionaires born into money display “less pronounced” signs of emotional stability and other qualities. Notably, millionaires whose personalities corresponded most closely to the typical profile had the most wealth.

What about people who aren’t millionaires?

Meanwhile, among the rest of the population (non-millionaires), study authors found a “weaker version” of this personality profile among people who earned money and had success in life through their own actions and hard work. While these individuals may not technically be millionaires, they display very similar personality qualities and see themselves as “self-made.”

“Taken together, the results suggest that personality is a relevant factor in wealth accumulation,” explains lead study author Johannes König, research associate at SOEP.

“This is the first study to describe the personality of millionaires using robust data. Since the rich wield particular influence over societal decision-making processes, and since personality has a determining influence on the way people think and behave, the investigation of millionaires’ personality traits is of great social relevance,” concludes study co-author Mitja Back, Professor of Psychological Diagnostics and Personality Psychology at the University of Münster.

The findings appear in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.

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    1. Nah, money buys a therapist, but plenty of science also shows why money just lends toward lower empathetic accuracy and being 4x as likely to cheat.

      But hey, sites that write manufactured consent about “self made” people is repping a straight up myth, so I’ll assume they can’t interpret science studies correctly either. This is brainwashed garbage to undermine how the self made made myth destroys the human brain through hyper individualism.

      You’re a sick human being for pushing fake narratives on this garbage site.

      1. Funny how angry, poor and stupid people cannot figure out that their condition is caused by their own attitudes.

      2. Wow, what a crock of shit. Let me guess- you’re broke and it’s anyone else’s fault but your own?

    2. No kidding. What a stupid study. Obviously when you’re not crushed daily by the weight of money problems, you’ll be more outgoing, confident, and willing to take risks.

      1. Your cause and effect is backwards.

        Plenty of broke people end up with money. They did because they aren’t the angry, caustic, downers that nobody wants to have around.

        It is the attitude first. The money flows from that. Trust me. I started with less than nothing, (much less!) a wife, a baby and two bikes. Didn’t own a car until my 4th year of marriage and did not live in a big city with public transport.

        Most people would say I am successful, own my own business, nice house(s) and decent cars, etc. You get ahead in life by not being that A-hole complainer and working hard and smart.

  1. Yeah, I get this, it makes sense. However, this is another kind of self make ultra wealthy personality. It is less common but even more tied to wealth and success. That would be introverts who have high IQ/intelligence and are also natural leaders. That is a strange combination of traits but those who have it are almost certainly self made millionaires and billionaires. A good chunk of the wealthiest people in the world are like this, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg come to mind. So you want to be a millionaire….be an extravert, want to be a billionaire, be a quirky introvert with high IQ and ambition….

    1. The three you mention got very wealthy through ties to government. They are Oligarchs not to be admired.

  2. It would be interesting to see studies on ultra-wealthy. I bet all of those positive traits disappear.

  3. Wealthier people also create more jobs and donate more to charitable organizations, too. Not going to see the new wing of a hospital named after a hippie anytime soon.

    1. I know a millionaire who was self-made. That adage that they have money, because they don’t spend money was what he did. I do not agree that they are happier. Maybe, with the help of various chemicals mixed together. Reality stars are committing suicide, because they have no real person to rely on. I don’t buy this. I find that people who struggle have more love and happiness than those trying to hold on to what they have including status. And Reality Stars are not extroverts. Most are horribly introverted. And, there are many people who have made millions, and no one knows who they are. This studies, as all studies, is flawed. It seems that they their focus was only on millionares and left out those that are just happy and enjoy life no matter what. My cousin, who is a Nun, has no money and is ethereal-ly happy…

  4. Self-made millionaire… not talking about lucky people who built successful businesses and sold it for millions. No. I’m talking about people who saved and invest during 20, 25 or 30 years.

    Everybody can become a millionaire. But it takes time and discipline. You need to consume less (your needs vs your desires). Too many people wants to impress their neighbours and they’ll never make it. Too many people plough money in expensive cars. It’s all errors due to the ego…

    So self-made millionaire have qualities others don’t have. They are down to earth. They are not looking for instant gratifications. And that, in the end, is the most important difference. If you are not self-confident and spend to impress others, then you just don’t have the qualities to be a self-made millionaire.

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