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Behavior/evolutionary psychology/Figueredo: One seemingly paradoxical suggestion derivable from evolutionary psychology is that, while personality differences are likely adaptive, they also constrain individuals’ behavioural flexibility. MacDonald (1998)(1) suggested that different personality traits are best suited for the occupation of different social and ecological niches. Viewed differently, this means that individuals may be constrained in their behavioural repertoires based on the particular suite of personality characteristics that they possess, due to heredity and environmental factors.
In fact, according to some psychologists who favour the situation side of the person-situation debate (e.g., Mischel, Shoda and Smith 2004(2)), the very definition of a personality disorder is unchanging personality in the face of the changing environmental contexts that a person encounters. >Situations/Mischel. Cf. >Ecology/evolutionary psychology, >Niches/evolutionary psychology, >Adaption/evolutionary psychology.
FigueredoVsMischel: encounters. In contrast, we propose that the biological preparedness for and the developmental plasticity of certain behaviours can and do vary independently of each other (Figueredo, Hammond and McKiernan 2006)(3).
1. MacDonald, K. B. 1998. Evolution, culture, and the five-factor model, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 29: 119–49
2. Mischel, W., Shoda, Y. and Smith, R. E. 2004. Introduction to personality: toward an integration, 7th edn. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
3. Figueredo, A. J., Hammond, K. R. and McKiernan, E. C. 2006. A Brunswikian evolutionary developmental theory of preparedness and plasticity, Intelligence 34: 211–27
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_____________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.
Philip J. Corr
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009