The Biological Domain Personality Psychology

Topics: Personality psychology, Psychology, Evolution Pages: 14 (4842 words) Published: April 10, 2012


Personality Psychology and the Biological Domain

Cristy Gray

Mohave Community College

PSY 260-853

Professor Linda Saxon

Personality Psychology and the Biological Domain

Genetic, physiological, and biological factors that are present when a person develops their childhood, adolescent, and adult personalities (or individual differences) are being explored, discovered, and adopted with the research creating breakthroughs and discovery of links within science and psychology like never before. Studies have been revealing some astonishing influences that the biological domains of genetics, evolution, physiology, heredity, and environmental factors may play in the function role of differences within one’s personality and the sex’s. e.g., Genes play a role in such things as the propensity to marry or to stay single for example (Johnson, et. al., 2004, as cited in; Larsen, R. J. &. Buss, D. M., 2010) p. 177.

One of the primary goals in genetic research is to determine the percentage of individual differences that can be attributed to genetic differences and the percentage that is due to environmental differences (R. J. Larsen & D. M. Buss, c. 6, 2010). The science is that; though there may be observed differences between people due to genetics, there may also be environmental factors that play a role in modifying a trait (Larsen, 2010). There are several behavioral methods developed by geneticist to testing apart the contributions of genes and environments as causes of individual differences such as selective breeding of animals and studies of family, twin- studies and adoptions (Larsen, 2010). Further information that defines some of these study methods will be discussed.

Even some physical differences between persons are associated with the differences in emotional style. Differences such as these represent the way that people differ from one another and so physiological features represent certain aspects of personality (R. Larsen, 2010).

The percentage of variance is used as a method by behavior geneticist to apply the individual difference variable factor by reference to the fact that the variability of differences between individuals is due to different causes. These variables as they relate to different causes can then be sectioned into percentages (Larsen, 2010). This individual difference variable method can be used to identify differences in personality traits, attitudes, even height-weight differences and their causes. Heritability is a statistic that refers to the proportion of the observed variance in a group of individuals that can be accounted for by genetic variance (Plomin et. al., 2001; as cited in; Larsen, 2010).

Some researchers view the correlate or indicator of a trait as having a link to one’s physiological response or a biological correlate of a particular trait (Larsen, 2010). In contrast, other researchers suggest that the role is much more in a physiological response as a correlate of the traits rather than an underlying substrate that produces or contributes to the personality trait (Larsen, 2010).

Physiological correlates of personality benefit science as the measures often reveal important consequences of personality, e.g. such as the link within Type A persons having a high cardiovascular reactivity that may lead to (the consequences) such as heart disease (Larsen, et. al., 2010). c. 7, p. 193

There are however, several modern theories of personality to which underlying physiology is more substantial in its function of generating or forming the substrate of specific personality differences (Larsen, 2010). Each of these theories share certain aspects that specific personality traits are based on these underlying differences. In addition, they assume that if the physiological substrate is altered the behavior pattern associated with the trait will be altered as well...

References: Larsen, J. Randy, & Buss, M. David., (2010). Personality Psychology, (4th ed.), c. 6-8; pp. 139-261; New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Inc.
Baron, R.A., Branscombe N. R., & Byrne, D., (2008). Social Psychology, (12th ed.), Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.
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