Evolutionary Personality Psychology

Aurelio J Figueredo, Jon A. Sefcek, Geneva Vasquez, Barbara H. Brumbach, James E. King, William J Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews several major current evolutionary psychological theories of personality. Evolutionary psychology helps to clarify the role of personality by separating evolved mechanisms from actual behavior. The chapter covers empirical evidence for these theories in human and nonhuman animal personality research. A chronic omission of evolutionary-based models of human personality from nonhuman personality theory limits the ability to test evolutionary theories of personality. The chapter explains the empirical evidence supporting evolutionary theories of personality in humans with specific emphasis on evidence for natural, sexual, and frequency dependent selection of personality traits. It also reviews the methodological merits and limitations of the research with a focus on methodological approaches that might best test evolutionary theories of personality explicitly. The chapter offers a template of a systematic approach needed to bring theory and data in evolutionary personality psychology together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939376
ISBN (Print)0471264032, 9780471264033
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2015



  • Empirical evidence
  • Evolutionary personality psychology
  • Human personality research
  • Nonhuman personality research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Figueredo, A. J., Sefcek, J. A., Vasquez, G., Brumbach, B. H., King, J. E., & Jacobs, W. J. (2015). Evolutionary Personality Psychology. In The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 851-877). John Wiley and Sons Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470939376.ch30