Aaron Lukaszewski – An Adaptationist Model To Explain Heritable Variance In Personality

january, 2013

07jan12:00 pm1:30 pmAaron Lukaszewski - An Adaptationist Model To Explain Heritable Variance In Personality

Event Details

Aaron Lukaszewski is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. His lecture is titled, “Facultative calibration of behavioral phenotypes to condition-dependent features: An adaptationist model to explain heritable variance in personality”.

Abstract: On the basis of classic twin studies in behavior genetics, it has long been known that most interesting personality differences are at least moderately heritable – i.e. correlated with genetic differences between individuals. As such, it has been surprising to many scientists that the mapping of the human genome has permitted the discovery of few (if any) reliable associations between specific genotypes and personality trait levels – the so-called “missing heritability” problem. So what, then, does explain the heritable variance in personality? Here I articulate one viable model, which posits that many behavioral phenotypes are facultatively calibrated over development to variations in other phenotypic features that are dependent on the overall condition of the organism (e.g., physical attractiveness). Crucially, since these condition-dependent features typically have a noisy genetic basis, facultative calibration of personality to such features could account for at least part of the missing heritability in gene association studies. In support of this adaptationist model, I present findings from multiple studies demonstrating that condition-dependent phenotypic features predict adaptively-patterned variation in a wide array of human personality traits, including extraversion, emotionality, and attachment styles. Together, these arguments and empirical findings illustrate the potential explanatory power of an adaptationist approach to elucidating heritable variance in personality.



(Monday) 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Haines Hall 352

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