Openness to experience and mortality in men: Analysis of trait and facets

Nicholas A. Turiano*, Avron Spiro, Daniel K. Mroczek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objectives: We examined whether specific facets are more robust predictors of mortality risk than overall trait openness in a sample of older men. Methods: The current investigation used data from 1,349 men from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. From 1990-1991 to 2008, 547 (41%) had died. We used exploratory factor analysis to extract facets of openness, followed by proportional hazards modeling to examine 18-year mortality risk. Results: Two facets emerged from the openness adjectives: intellect and creativity. In the fully adjusted model, only creativity predicted mortality risk. A 1-SD increase in creativity was associated with a 12% decrease in mortality risk. Discussion: The study demonstrated that consideration of facets allows for a more precise understanding of the personality-health association. Higher levels of creativity predict longer survival in a sample of older men which provides preliminary support of the protective role creativity has on health even at advanced ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-672
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • creativity
  • facets
  • mortality
  • openness
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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