Selection and Evolutionary Explanations for the Maintenance of Personality Differences
This chapter discusses the potential benefit of using the selectionist approach to study human and animal personality traits. It first briefly introduces the selectionist approach, describes the methods proposed to run multivariate selection analyses, and follows with a review of the most recent results showing how animal personality scientists are beginning to apply this method to test the fit of evolutionary scenarios for the maintenance of variation in personality traits. Finally, it reviews the evidence from recent studies on human personality suggesting that selection can indeed affect personality dimensions. Not every scenario will apply equally to humans and animals. However, it is assumed that humans and many animals broadly face the same types of ecological challenges that they must cope with. Therefore, studies on both human and non-human animals are likely to provide a general explanation for the maintenance of individual variance in personality traits.
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