Toward a Biologically Informed Psychology of Personality


  • This report was supported m part by NIMH Grant MH-44206-01 and by a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study m the Behavioral Sciences The author thanks Steve West for helpful editonal suggestions on an earlier version of this article

should be addressed to David M Buss, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1346


ABSTRACT This article describes nine ways in which biological approaches can inform issues of central and long-standing concern to personality psychologists These include (a) developing an adequate description of human nature, (b) providing several solutions to the puzzle of within-species genetic variabihty, (c) identifying the most important ways m which individuals differ, (d) giving precision to the concepts of adaptation and adjustment, (e) identifyingthe ongms of personality dispositions, (f) providing insight into personality development and the life course, (g) providing conceptual and evidential standards for mvokmg personality types as opjwsed to personality dimensions, (h) addressing the psychophysiology of personality, and (i) focusing attention on psychological mechanisms as evolved dispositional strategies