Are people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) particularly nice? An international online case-control study of the Big Five personality factors

Affiliates Jane A. Parkin Kullmann [1], Susan Hayes [2], Roger Pamphlett [1,3]


[1] The Stacey Motor Neuron Disease Laboratory, Discipline of Pathology, Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney
[2] Forensic Psychology, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney
[3] Department of Neuropathology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Journal Brain and Behavior
Summary Many people with ALS have been suggested to have a “nice” personality. This raises the possibility that genetic properties that influence personality could play a role in ALS. Moreover, different personality traits could align with lifestyle choices that are currently thought to be risk factors for ALS. Using Big Five Inventory data obtained from an online questionnaire looking for risk factors for ALS, personality traits in large numbers of people with ALS and controls, were investigated. Male ALS respondents had higher mean scores than male controls for Conscientiousness and Extraversion. Female ALS respondents had higher mean scores than female controls for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion, and a lower score for Neuroticism.
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