Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 267
Personality traits/evolutionary psychology/Figueredo: Wilson (1994)(1) and Figueredo (1995)(2) have suggested that the diversification of individual traits to fit different social niches might be ultimately due to frequency-dependent selection. In this view, social competition drives individuals into different social niches and filling these diverse niches offers partial release from competitive pressure from conspecifics.
Corr I 268
As hypothesized by both MacDonald(3) and Figueredo, they found that individuals possessing different personality types actually did gravitate toward different niches that seemed to suit their personalities best. This indicates that, while human behaviour may be constrained by individual personality traits, the cost of these constraints can be overcome by the benefits entailed in the selection of suitable social niches for the personality traits that each individual possesses. This is also an example of how genetic diversity can work synergistically with migration within ecological niche space to solve the problem of environmental heterogeneity.


1. Wilson, D. S. 1994. Adaptive genetic variation and human evolutionary psychology, Ethology and
Sociobiology 15: 219–35
2. Figueredo, A. J. 1995. The evolution of individual differences. Paper delivered at Jane Goodall Institute ChimpanZoo Annual Conference, Tucson, Arizona
3. MacDonald, K. B. 1998. Evolution, culture, and the five-factor model, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 29: 119–49

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.
Figueredo, Aurelio J.
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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