Evolutionary Personality Psychology

A. J. Figueredo, J. A. Sefcek, C. J. Black, R. A. Garcia, W. J. Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Multiple selective pressures maintain and increase heritable behavioral variability among individuals across both developmental and evolutionary time: (1) directional social selection favors convergent traits, promoting mutually beneficial cooperative interactions; (2) disruptive social selection favors divergent traits, providing release from within-species competition; (3) genetic diversification responds adaptively to the stochastic (random) characteristics of environmental hazards such as uncontrollable morbidity (disease) and mortality (death); (4) developmental plasticity epigenetically directs development adaptively along different alternative pathways, modifying permanent and stable behavioral dispositions to suit long-term contingencies of survival and reproduction; and (5) behavioral flexibility deploys rapid and reversible short-term adaptive behavioral responses to transient situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123750006
ISBN (Print)9780080961804
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Behavioral flexibility
  • Developmental plasticity
  • Directional social selection
  • Disruptive social selection
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Frequency-dependent selection
  • Genetic diversification
  • Heritable individual differences
  • Personality psychology
  • Theoretical evolutionary ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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