Individual Differences


Critique of Biological & Evolutionary Processes in Personality

Last updated:
01 Sep 2003

Some of the strengths of the various biological and evolutionary perspectives of personality are:

  • Bridges biology and psychology
  • Explains individual differences which are not easily accounted for by environmental explanations
  • Twin and adoption study research
  • Laboratory brain study research
  • Animal study research
  • Supported by evolutionary theory
  • Recognize biological limitations on therapeutic efforts
  • Pharmacological intervention
  • Much potential for the future

Some of the weaknesses of the Biological Perspectives are

  • Still limited methods for testing theories
  • That the evolutionary perspective has political and social undertones and may allow justifications for unfair social conditions and prejudices (sexism)
  • Limited strategies for change from evolutionary perspective and genetic perspective.
  • The study of the biological perspective of personality IS fragmented. It is a relatively new area in which knowledge is growing and changing all the time.
  • Evolutionary & biological often address particular aspects of personality, but not the study of all aspects of personality as a whole

The mapping of the human genome (i.e. the complete set of genes found in mankindís 23 pairs of chromosomes) is in many ways going to give us an autobiography of our species. It remains to be seen whether people will start to demand designer babies when we uncover more and more of the biological secrets of our personalities!