EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 10, Special Issue 1, 2018
Explaining to Students How Personality Differences Can Be Maintained in the Face of Directional Selection through Trait Covariation
Johnson, J. A.
Those of us who teach both personality psychology and evolutionary psychology must help students understand how individual differences in personality are maintained in the face of directive selection. A new study is offered to help explain the maintenance of personality variability over evolutionary time. Analysis of scores on the five major personality factors in two large data sets (Ns = 307,313 and 619,150) confirmed a prediction from socioanalytic theory that the most common two-score profiles occur within superfactors α and β, which affect coalition formation and status achievement, respectively (Hogan & Blickle, 2017). A parallel analysis of 1,718 representative English trait terms indicated that most trait terms fall at the intersection of two positive or two negative poles of the five factors, with five notable exceptions. The co-occurrence of negative and positive personality traits may help to explain how variability in personality is maintained over evolutionary time and is a good object lesson for students on how we are the result of blind evolution rather than intelligent design.
How to cite this article:
Johnson, J. A. (2019). Explaining to students how personality differences can be maintained in the face of directional selection through trait covariation. The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 10, Sp. Iss. (1), 1-23.