Research: Law students are sociable but selfish

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By Thomas Connelly on

Arts students are moody bastards


New research examining the correlation between personality traits and undergraduate degree subject has revealed those studying law to be sociable but more likely to be selfish.

The study conducted by Dr Anna Vedel, from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has suggested that aspiring lawyers showed low levels of “agreeableness”. With LLB-ers deemed less likely to be helpful, generous and considerate, the research doesn’t help shake the negative stereotype attached to those studying law.

But law students are not the only villains. Sampling 13,000 university students, the study revealed that budding economists and those completing business degrees were just as likely to be selfish.

Interestingly, students of law were also much more likely to be extroverted than those taking other subjects.

Joined once again by those studying economics, along with political science students and future doctors, lawyers-to-be were more outgoing and sociable than average. Clearly those students questioned weren’t coming off the back of an all-nighter in the law library — or perhaps they were just in their first year.

Finally, according to Vedel, law students showed mid-levels of neuroticism.

Defined through personality traits including anxiety, fear, moodiness and worry, aspiring lawyers were seen as fairly average in this respect. Those studying arts and humanities showed above average levels of these traits.

Suggesting that the research could act as guide for students unsure as to what subject to study, Vedel told the Mail Online:

I’m not arguing that these results should play a major role in either guidance or selection, but it might provide some inspiration for students that are in doubt about study choices and want to make a choice based on more than abilities, for example.

So based on the latest research, if you’re sociable and selfish, you’d might just make a great future lawyer. Nicer introverted types with a moody streak should perhaps stick to the arts.