In this study we provide direct evidence on the relationship between social status and personality traits. Using survey data from the 2006-2012 waves of the HRS, we show that individuals’ self-perceived social status is associated with all the “Big Five” personality traits, after controlling for observable characteristics that arguably reflect one’s actual status. We also construct an objective status measure that in turn is influenced by personality traits.Objectively measured status is positively but not highly correlated with its subjective counterpart and, when incorporated in a regression specification, still leaves room for direct effects of personality traits on status perception.

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