Evolution and Personality: A New Look at Machiavellianism

Authored by: Patricia H. Hawley

Handbook of Personality Development

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805847161
eBook ISBN: 9781315805610
Adobe ISBN: 9781317778073


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Evolutionary approaches to personality offer novel insights into human behavior and social development. Although evolutionary revelations have long been found in fields as diverse as biology, anthropology, economics, and embryology, to name a few, a growing body of work can be found in psychology in the domains of social, developmental, cognitive, and clinical. Yet, this growing field of “evolutionary psychology” is not of one mind. Some refer to it as a revolution in psychology (Buss, 1999) in its inspired and righteous pursuit of the psychic unity of mankind (Tooby & Cosmides, 1990). Others (e.g., Hogan, 1998; Scher & Rauscher, 2003; Wilson, 2003) are concerned that the most vocal “evolutionary psychologists” are narrow in both their views and questions and, moreover, overestimate the originality of evolutionary reasoning to human behavior.

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