Personality Theory & Human Nature Essay

This paper will evaluate David M. Buss, personality theory and human nature. According to Buss, most studies in personality theory are concerned with how and why individuals differ from one another, evolutionary psychology primary goal is a description of human nature. The theory of human nature describes what it means to be human, and how humans are like one another. David Buss was born on April 1953 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a high school drop out. He majored in psychology and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin.

He obtained his PHD from the University of California at Berkeley. He went to Harvard University as an assistant professor where he met Leda Cosmides, a cognitive psychologist, and her husband John Tooby, a biological anthropologist, who stimulated his interest in theory of evolution. In 1985 Buss was an associate professor at the University of Michigan. The two theories of human nature are first the empirical theory or the social science model and the second is the evolutionary psychological theory of human nature.

The first empirical or social science model of personality deals with what a person has experienced in his or her lifetime. Locke, refers to the tabala rasa(a blank tablet) this notion refers to what you become as a person depends on what you have experienced. According to this view, the environment, including cultural environment, is important in determining personality. The second, evolutionary psychological theory of human nature, evolutionary psychologists disagree with the tabala rasa explanation of human nature. The task of personality theory document describes behavioral tendencies.

According to Buss(2011), “contemporary evolutionary psychologists reject the nature versus nurture dichotomy as artificial; similarly, they reject questions concerning “how much nature’ or “how much nurture. ”(p. 363). Interactionist theorists say personality is a result of internal and environmental variables. Evolutionary psychologists suggest evolutionary adaptations require an appropriate environment to be manifested. Buss states, human behavior requires two ingredients, the first one evolved adaptations and the second environmental input. Culture is the notion of human nature.

Evolutionary psychology does not claim all cultures are identical. Evidence claims human behaviors occur in different degrees due to environmental conditions, some i. e. , are incest avoidance, facial expressions, in group/kin favoritism and collective identities. A substantial amount of Buss work is based on sex differences: mating strategies. An evolutionary perspective concerning differences in strategies characterized by men and women who are attracting mates. The terms mechanisms, circuits, and adaptations are used to describe what we inherit from our past in which we use to confront current problems.

Predisposition indicates behavioral tendencies not hard wired by evolution; to interact with environment conditions and cultural influences used to solve problems. Buss refers to the term strategy, physical systems. According to Buss (2005), ”for example, a striking feature of human courtship in its broadest sense-is the powerful effect that fear of rejection has on behavior. ”(p. 256). For individuals the thought of being rejected hurts so this can effect a person’s mating behavior. Long-term mating strategies: women’s preferences for the purpose of reproduction.

Females are more biologically valuable because of their infinite number of ova. Women are more selective in choosing male partners, they look for males with good resources, committed types, caring and nurturing. Buss and Schmitt’s sexual strategies theory (SST) males and females differ in what they do to make themselves desirable and also depending on what their looking for long or short term partners. According to Buss some of the advantages for men to engage in long term mating are for women to favor men that favor long term commitment.

Men who are willing to commit, attract higher quality mates. Long term relationships are more likely to result in offsprings. Offspring survival rate increases with committed partnership. Some of the qualities men look for in women are youth and health. Women also look for youth and trustworthy partners. Some of the long term strategies; males that are attracting females may look for are access to resources, they can also exaggerate their career potential, ambition, the prestige of there college or graduate school.

In addition, effective long term tactics include being faithful, common interests and signs of being the loving devoted type. Some short term strategies, strategic interference, and deception are companionship, a date for an event, a casual sex partner. Mates that are looking for short term relationships, loyalty, fidelity and commitment may not be important factors. Women are less likely to engage in short term mating, if they do it is for the sole reason of engaging in casual sex.

Men who are looking for short term mates may look for women who consent to sex after a short period of time. Men are more predisposed to engage in short term relationships. Buss refers to strategic interference which a person employs a particular strategy to achieve a goal and another person blocks or prevents the successful enactment of that strategy of the fulfillment of the desire. With deception, conflict between sexes occur, woman are looking for long term relationship versus men looking for casual sex encounters.

Due to love and jealousy 40% of marriages end in divorce. Love and kindness are long term characteristics that mates desire. Jealousy is a immature sense of possession that can motivate abuse, violence and even murder. In conclusion, according to Buss there is significant research determining personality and human nature. His theory describes many individuals characteristics. Adaptations and environmental input contribute to individuals characteristics. Long term relationship require a commitment between a woman and man.