Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 265
Psychology/evolutionary psychology: Although evolutionary psychologists agree that evolution is relevant to all psychological mechanisms, there has been very little research done on personality from an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary psychologists have generally been interested solely in what Tooby and Cosmides (1992)(1) have termed the psychic unity of mankind. Therefore, they have been primarily concerned with human nature rather than individual differences. Consequently, much of evolutionary personality psychology research has focused on universally-shared psychological mechanisms that result in phenotypic plasticity due to varying environmental input without regard to genetic variability or heritable traits. >Personality/evolutionary theories.
However, the vast behavioural genetics literature on personality traits indicates strong genetic components for differences in all of the >Big Five personality traits (Loehlin, McCrae, Costa and John 1998)(2). The genetic variability of such traits is dismissed or explained by some evolutionary psychologists as selectively neutral or as genetic ‘noise’ (Tooby and Cosmides 1990)(3). >Personality traits/evolutionary psychology.


1.Tooby, J. and Cosmides, L. 1992. The psychological foundations of culture, in J. Barkow, L. Cosmides and J. Tooby (eds.), The adapted mind: evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture, pp. 19–136. New York: Oxford University Press
2. Loehlin, J., McCrae, R., Costa, P. and John, O. 1998. Heritabilities of common and measure-specific components of the Big Five personality factors, Journal of Research in Personality 32: 431–53
3. Tooby, J. and Cosmides, L. 1990. On the universality of human nature and the uniqueness of the individual: the role of genetics and adaptation, Journal of Personality 58: 17–67


Aurelio José Figueredo, Paul Gladden, Geneva Vásquez, Pedro Sofio, Abril Wolf and Daniel Nelson Jones, “Evolutionary theories of personality”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Evolutionary Psychology
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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