Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The enduring differences between individuals have been one of psychology's central concerns over the past one hundred years or more. In the last twenty five years, evolutionary thinking has begun to make a huge impact on psychological explanations, particularly in social and cognitive psychology. However, the integration of evolutionary thinking into the study of individual differences has been more uneven. Evolutionary psychologists were initially more concerned with explaining central tendencies, and species-typical or sex typical patterns of cognition, than they were with the individual variation. Nonetheless, a wave of recent work on humans and other species, including both theory and empirical study, has shed considerable light on how evolution shapes inter-individual variation. This article outlines the key frameworks that we have for explaining distributions of individual differences from an adaptive perspective. The focus is primarily on heritable individual differences, that is, differences underlain by population polymorphisms of particular genes.

Keywords: differences, individuals, cognition, humans, evolution, population, polymorphisms, genes

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.