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The Evolution of Personality and Individual Differences$
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David M. Buss and Patricia H. Hawley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372090.001.0001

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Explaining Individual Differences in Personality: Why We Need a Modular Theory

Explaining Individual Differences in Personality: Why We Need a Modular Theory

Chapter:
(p.121) 5 Explaining Individual Differences in Personality: Why We Need a Modular Theory
Source:
The Evolution of Personality and Individual Differences
Author(s):

Judith Rich Harris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372090.003.0005

People vary in personality and social behavior. It is generally accepted that some of this variation is due to differences in genes and some to “environment”—that is, to differences in people's experiences. This chapter is about the latter source of individual differences, the variation that is not due to genes. More precisely, it is about theories designed to account for environmental influences on personality and social behavior by specifying some of the ways these outcomes are affected by people's experiences. The chapter begins by summarizing some of the findings that a theory of environmental influences on human behavior should be called upon to explain. It then describes a new theory designed to account for these findings. The final section examines some alternative theories.

Keywords:   individual differences, personality, social behavior, environmental influences, experiences

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