Personality and temperament

What is personality and temperament?

Personality and temperament are relatively stable over time and include innate emotional, reactive, and attentional traits. These traits may differ according to genetic differences and the extent of the risk a person has to psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder.

What is the evidence for personality and temperament?

Compared to controls

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests large effects of more harm avoidance, highs and lows, depression, irritability, and anxiousness, and less self-directedness and excessive positive mood in people with bipolar disorder. There were medium-sized effects of more self-transcendence and less cooperativeness and excessive positive mood, and small effects of more novelty seeking and less reward dependence in people with bipolar disorder. In first-degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder, there were large effects of more highs and lows, irritability, and anxiousness, and medium-sized effects of more harm avoidance and less self-directedness than in controls.

Compared to first-degree relatives

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests large effects of more harm avoidance, highs and lows, irritability, and anxiousness, and less self-directedness in people with bipolar disorder than in first-degree relatives. There were also medium-sized effects of less cooperativeness, and more novelty seeking and self-transcendence in people with bipolar disorder.

Compared to bipolar disorder II

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a small effect of more depression in people with bipolar disorder I.

Compared to other psychiatric illnesses

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests medium-sized effects of more novelty seeking, highs and lows, irritability and excessive positive mood in people with bipolar disorder than in people with major depression. There are also small effects of more self-transcendence and less harm avoidance in people with bipolar disorder.

Compared to people with borderline personality disorder, moderate quality evidence suggests large effects of less depression, irritability, and anxiousness, and a medium-sized effect of more excessive positive mood in people with bipolar disorder.

March 2019

Last updated at: 4:21 am, 30th March 2019
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.