Markus Jokela, Tuomas Pekkarinen, Matti Sarvimäki, Marko Terviö, Roope Uusitalo, 11 July 2017

There is strong empirical evidence of a secular rise in intelligence, but a lack of consistently measured data has hampered the identification of a similar increase in non-cognitive skills. Based on an analysis of half a million Finnish males, this column presents evidence that a long-term increase in scores for traits such as self-confidence, sociability, and leadership motivation has taken place. Just as with cognitive abilities, higher test scores for personality traits predict higher earnings.