Pathways to Individuality: Evolution and Development of Personality Traits
In Pathways to Individuality, veteran researcher and scholar Arnold Buss examines the personality traits we share with other animals — and those that set us apart from other animals, the social traits that make us distinctly human.
Within those general social traits, there's much variability, as Buss explains in this new book, usually differentiated during the crucial periods of human development — and that's what makes us individuals.
Humans make up the only species that has an extended period of childhood — we play and explore more than other animals — during which our human traits become canalized and differentiated: Our early interactions with our social environment influence and sharpen the neural and behavioral pathways that distinguish our distinct individuality. In turn, we seek to influence those environments we are drawn to and that help shape our individuality.
Drawing from his own published research over a half-century of teaching and writing on personality, Buss masterfully summarizes key theories and recent advances in the study of temperament (aggression, dominance, etc.), the self (self-conscious shyness, self-esteem, identity), and abnormal behavior and style as crucial dimensions in understanding personality and individual differences.