Big personalities tend to make big bucks, according to a new study. 

Research has revealed a complex relationship between personality traits and income levels, suggesting that individuals with higher incomes tend to exhibit specific personality traits, such as being more extraverted, conscientious, and open to new experiences while being less neurotic. 

The authors of the study propose that while extraverts are more likely to take on leadership roles, the demands of these senior positions may contribute to increased neuroticism over time.

A trend was observed in which individuals who received a salary increase one year were found to be less extraverted and more neurotic the following year. 

The research aimed to distinguish between the effects of stable personality traits on income differences (between-person effects) and the impact of changes in personality or income on the other variable over time (within-person effects). 

The study analysed data from 6,824 working-age adults in New Zealand across four years.

It found that people who were more extraverted, agreeable, open, and less neurotic tended to have higher incomes.

While extraverts appeared more likely to take on leadership roles, which are generally associated with higher pay, the researchers suggest that the increased responsibilities and time demands of these positions might lead to greater neuroticism.

Earning a higher income was associated with later increases in neuroticism and decreases in extraversion. Also, while extraverts tend to earn more, becoming more extraverted over time was seen to lead to a decrease in income within the same individual.

The study's findings indicate a bidirectional relationship between personality and income. 

While certain personality traits can predict income levels, changes in income can also influence personality traits.

Extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and lower levels of neuroticism are associated with higher incomes. 

However, the demands of higher-income positions can lead to increased neuroticism and reduced extraversion over time. 

The full study is accessible here.