What can human personality psychology learn from behavioral ecology?

Personality research has a long and fruitful history in psychology. In the past 15 years, this topic emerged as an important subfield in behavioral ecology as well. A large amount of empirical data has been gathered, and promising theoretical models have been developed. Despite all of this, there is almost no communication between personality research in humans and the behavioral ecology of animal personality. The aim of this article is to present contemporary research on animal personality and thus, to facilitate its integration into human personality psychology. We describe three major topics in the behavioral ecology of personality: the attempts to explain (a) individual differences in personality, (b) temporal stability of personality traits, and (c) the emergence and stability of behavioral syndromes (correlations between personality traits). In all three topics, we suggest how behavioral ecological research and its conceptual apparatus could be implemented in human personality psychology. We also highlight the importance of the empirical measuring of fitness indicators and the adequate translation of concepts from behavioral ecology to human personality psychology and vice versa. Our analysis shows that behavioral ecology represents a fruitful explanatory and empirical framework with high heuristic potential in explaining key problems of personality. The majority of hypotheses developed in this discipline can be tested in human personality psychology; however, some of them demand complex research designs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)