Applying the Interpersonal Circle and Evolutionary Theory to Gender Differences in Psychopathological Traits
Katharine Blick Hoyenga, Kermit T. Hoyenga, Kenneth Walters, and James A. Schmidt
As Buss ( 1995a) pointed out, psychology is currently in disarray due to its many unrelated and often conflicting branches, each with its own disparate minitheories accompanied by vast arrays of underorganized data. The solution is to try to organize past data and gather new data using theories that can predict and explain a variety of phenomena in many different areas. Two such theories are evolutionary theory and the Big Five theory of personality. Following the lead of other theorists (e.g., Buss, 1991; 1995a; 1995b; MacDonald, 1995), we will explicitly relate those two theories to each other, pointing out how individual differences in personality-trait dimensions could have evolved and remained a stable aspect of human lives for generations. By collecting data guided by evolutionary theory, and by using well-validated and theoretically coherent measures of personality, the data and models employed by one investigator can be meaningfully related to and combined with the data and models used by another, even in a different area.
Two other considerations have guided our research. First, we have concluded that, as we will describe, one of the most frequently replicated findings in biopsychology is that a low level of brain serotonin can lead to problems with impulse control. Second, understanding any given sex difference demands a context. 1 The relevant context includes but is not limited to patterns of sexual dimorphisms in all traits possibly related to that specific sex difference. The context of the sexually dimorphic traits described in this chapter includes biopsychological traits, evolutionary theories of sex differences, and