Can personality predict longitudinal study attrition? Evidence from a population-based sample of older adults

Published: 12 October 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/g3jx8zt2t9.1
Isabelle Hansson, Anne Ingeborg Berg, Valgeir Thorvaldsson


Participation attrition is a major problem in longitudinal studies. Systematic attrition can lead to selection biases, incorrect inferences, and erroneous conclusions. The aim of this study was to investigate systematic attrition related to personality traits in the longitudinal population-based HEalth, Ageing and Retirement Transitions in Sweden (HEARTS) study (N=5913). Longitudinal study attrition was predicted by the Big Five personality traits, i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, using logistic regression. Results revealed that higher extraversion and neuroticism, and lower agreeableness were independently associated with an increased risk for attrition at one and two year follow-up. Our findings suggest that personality can be a valuable source of information when accounting for systematic attrition in analyzes of longitudinal studies.


Steps to reproduce

The data and code provided can be used to replicate the findings in: Hansson, I., Berg, A.I., & Thorvaldsson, V. (2018). Can Personality Predict Longitudinal Study Attrition? Evidence from a Population-Based Sample of Older Adults. Journal of Research in Personality.


Goteborgs universitet Psykologiska institutionen


Personality, Longitudinal Survey, Big Five