Research out of the University of London asked 142 mothers of infants to select from each of the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism) the facets that they most liked their child to have. They were then tasked with ranking these facets.
They found that less than 10% of mothers rated intelligence and the conscientiousness facet as most important while 51% ranked extraversion as the most important.
And the researchers seemed pretty baffled.
“Our results suggest that mothers preferred extraversion over intelligence and conscientiousness, despite their strong, empirically demonstrated predictive validity for important life outcomes,” the study states.
“Intelligence and conscientiousness are key predictors of all important life outcomes, such as socioeconomic success, marital status, health and longevity. It is unclear, however, if and to what extent lay people appreciate these dimensions of individual differences.”