The origins of extraversion: Joint effects of facultative calibration and genetic polymorphism

  • Lukaszewski A
  • Roney J
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The origins of variation in extraversion are largely mysterious. Recent theories and some findings suggest that personality variation can be orchestrated by specific genetic polymorphisms. Few studies, however, have examined an alternative hypothesis that personality traits are facultatively calibrated to variations in other phenotypic features, and none have considered how these distinct processes may interact in personality determination. Since physical strength and physical attractiveness likely predicted the reproductive payoffs of extraverted behavioral strategies over most of human history, it was theorized that extraversion is calibrated to variation in these characteristics. Confirming these predicted patterns, strength and attractiveness together explained a surprisingly large fraction of variance in extraversion across two studies--effects that were independent of variance explained by an androgen receptor gene polymorphism. These novel findings initially support an integrative model wherein facultative calibration and specific genetic polymorphisms operate in concert to determine personality variation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Androgen receptor gene CAG repeat polymorphism
  • Behavioral genetics
  • Extraversion
  • Facultative calibration
  • Personality

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