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Can You Change Your Personality? (VIDEO)

First Posted: 08/23/10 12:46 PM ET Updated: 11/17/11 09:02 AM ET

It's an age-old question: can we change the personalities we're born with? Now, a new study from the University of California Riverside is weighing in on the debate -- and the research seems to suggest "no."

The study, which compared the personality traits of a small group across a 40 year period, found remarkable similarities between individuals' personalities over time.

But don't throw in the towel just yet. Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, appeared on CBS to the discuss the study, as well as the ways in which we can alter our most deeply ingrained habits. Distinguishing between environmental and biological factors, Dr. Fisher offered five tips for changing our characters through behavior modification:

  • Make a clear plan
  • Track your progress in a daily journal
  • Avoid situations that will drag you back in to the habit
  • Tell friends about your plan
  • Reward Yourself for small successes on the way


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Filed by Michael Macher  |