Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Individual Differences

  • Joseph L. NedelecEmail author
  • Ian A. Silver
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1826-1



Individual differences refer to the many ways in which people differ in terms of traits or characteristics. In the vernacular of behavioral and molecular genetics, individual differences are known as phenotypic variance.


The majority of theoretical and empirical literature in evolutionary psychology tends to focus on the numerous ways in which humans are similar. For example, researchers have illuminated how aspects of the human condition such as sexual attraction, mating strategies, disgust, fear, and even political strategy transcend cultural boundaries. These widespread similarities are a product of our species’ shared evolutionary history and so it is somewhat unsurprising, though certainly fascinating, that members of species share so many similar psychological characteristics. Nonetheless, humans across the globe are certainly not identical; indeed, our species is rich...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian B Boutwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA