Evolution and Development of Individual Behavioral Variation
- LAST MODIFIED: 24 March 2021
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0135
- LAST MODIFIED: 24 March 2021
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0135
What makes individuals unique? The answer to this question lies in understanding why and how individuals respond to numerous internal and external factors that they experience over their lifetimes. This fundamental question lies at the heart of the study of human and animal behavior and is best addressed by integrating both proximate and ultimate perspectives. From a proximate perspective, we need to understand the molecular, hormonal, and physiological pathways involved in enacting behavioral changes within individuals. From an ultimate perspective, we need to understand when and why behavior changes in response to different internal and external factors and whether such changes are adaptive, a result of constraints, or pathological. Research on this topic draws links across several fields including developmental and abnormal psychology, personality in humans and animals, developmental plasticity, and parental effects. The development of individual behavioral variation encompasses many different processes because there are so many ways that behavior can vary within and across individuals. This article considers behavioral variation in both of these respects, that is, within-individual plasticity and among-individual differences. Within an individual, behavioral plasticity describes the way in which behavior can change across the lifespan as a result of changes in internal factors such as maturational state, or as a result of salient experiences. Among individuals, differences in average behavior can be a result of individual differences in internal factors, such as genetic variation, variation in their experiences, and variation in how they respond to the same experiences. Traditionally, students of behavioral variation in humans and animals focused on describing the mean levels of behavior expressed by groups of individuals as a function of changes in age or in response to specific experiences. More recently evolutionary and behavioral ecologists have become interested in patterns of within-individual plasticity and among-individual differences in behavior, and the factors that contribute to their development, which is the focus of this review here.
The evolution and development of behavioral variation is a broad topic and so many journals publish articles related to it. From a human perspective, major journals are the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Psychological Bulletin, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Evolution and Human Behavior. In nonhuman animals, journals such as Behavioral Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Ethology, and Applied Animal Behaviour Science all routinely publish research relating to the development and evolution of behavioral variation. The Journal of Comparative Psychology publishes papers on both humans and other species.
Animal Behaviour. 1953–.
This broad journal publishes empirical and theoretical work on animal behavior including work from evolutionary, ethological, or more applied perspectives.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 1974–.
This journal focuses on the behavior of domesticated or utilized animals with a focus on how this work can help inform animal management, husbandry, and/or welfare.
Behavioral Ecology. 1990–.
This journal publishes both empirical and theoretical work dealing with the study of behavior from an eco-evolutionary perspective. This often includes research on animal personality and its development.
This journal publishes research on behavior, generally in nonhuman animals, including its physiological mechanisms, function, and evolution.
Evolution and Human Behavior. 1979–.
This interdisciplinary journal focuses on linking the study of human behavior within an evolutionary context.
This journal publishes empirical work focusing on the study of behavior and cognition across multiple species, including humans.
This journal focuses on empirical work done on human personality and social psychology with special focus on the topics of social cognition, interpersonal relations, and individual differences in personality processes.
Psychological Bulletin. 1904–.
This journal specializes in publishing integrative research reviews and research syntheses to help summarize the current state and future directions of the field.
Psychological Science. 1990–.
This broad journal focuses on empirical work on any aspect of psychology, though routinely publishes work investigating the human personality and its development.
This journal specializes on publishing short empirical articles of work considered to be major advancements to the field of social psychology and personality science.
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- Ancient DNA
- Behavioral Ecology
- Canalization and Robustness
- Character Displacement
- Cognition, Evolution of
- Constraints, Evolutionary
- Contemporary Evolution
- Convergent Evolution
- Cooperation and Conflict: Microbes to Humans
- Cooperative Breeding in Insects and Vertebrates
- Cryptic Female Choice
- Darwin, Charles
- Disease Virulence, Evolution of
- Ecological Speciation
- Epigenetics and Behavior
- Epistasis and Evolution
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- Evidence of Evolution, The
- Evolution and Development: Genes and Mutations Underlying ...
- Evolution and Development of Individual Behavioral Variati...
- Evolution, Cultural
- Evolution of Animal Mating Systems
- Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance
- Evolution of New Genes
- Evolution of Plant Mating Systems
- Evolution of Specialization
- Evolutionary Biology of Aging
- Evolutionary Biomechanics
- Evolutionary Computation
- Evolutionary Developmental Biology
- Evolutionary Ecology of Communities
- Experimental Evolution
- Field Studies of Natural Selection
- Founder Effect Speciation
- Frequency-Dependent Selection
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- Gene Duplication
- Gene Expression, Evolution of
- Gene Flow
- Genetics, Ecological
- Genome Evolution
- Geographic Variation
- Group Selection
- History of Evolutionary Thought, 1860–1925
- History of Evolutionary Thought before Darwin
- History of Evolutionary Thought Since 1930
- Human Behavioral Ecology
- Human Evolution
- Hybrid Speciation
- Hybrid Zones
- Identifying the Genomic Basis Underlying Phenotypic Variat...
- Inbreeding and Inbreeding Depression
- Inclusive Fitness
- Innovation, Evolutionary
- Islands as Evolutionary Laboratories
- Kin Selection
- Land Plants, Evolution of
- Landscape Genetics
- Landscapes, Adaptive
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- Macroevolutionary Rates
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- Molecular Clocks
- Molecular Phylogenetics
- Mutation Rate and Spectrum
- Mutualism, Evolution of
- Natural Selection in Human Populations
- Natural Selection in the Genome, Detecting
- Neutral Theory
- New Zealand, Evolutionary Biogeography of
- Niche Construction
- Niche Evolution
- Non-Human Animals, Cultural Evolution in
- Origin and Early Evolution of Animals
- Origin of Eukaryotes
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- Paradox of Sex
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- Phenotypic Plasticity
- Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Tests of Macroevoluti...
- Phylogenetic Trees, Interpretation of
- Polyploid Speciation
- Population Genetics
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- Quantitative Genetic Variation and Heritability
- Reaction Norms, Evolution of
- Reproductive Proteins, Evolution of
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- Selection, Disruptive
- Selection Gradients
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- Sexual Selection and Speciation
- Sexual Size Dimorphism
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- Sperm Competition
- Systems Biology
- Taxonomy and Classification
- Tetrapod Evolution
- The Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology
- Trends, Evolutionary
- Wallace, Alfred Russel