Taxonomies of psychological individual differences: biological perspectives on millennia-long challenges

  • I. Trofimova, T. W. Robbins, W. H. Sulis, J. Uher
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, February 2018, Royal Society Publishing
  • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0152

Individual differences and their biological foundations: Two millenia of research

What is it about?

This Theme Issue looks into two millennia of research on individual differences, their neurobiological underpinnings and expression in psychopathology. It brings together leading scholars from experimental neurophysiology, psychiatry, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, psychogenetics, developmental, differential, personality, clinical and comparative psychology, nonlinear dynamics modelling and evolutionary theory who present newest findings in the field.

Why is it important?

Models of individual differences currently popular in psychology were derived from human everyday language (e.g., Five Factor Model of human personality). Because language reflects our sociocultural beliefs and values, these models are inadequate to categorise individual differences and to explore their biological underpinnings. The Theme Issue presents alternative concepts and approaches as well as findings from the leadings scholars in different fields.


Dr Jana Uher
University of Greenwich

Popular personality models give only a very limited - and socioculturally biased - view on individual differences. It is high time that psychologists broaden their views and incorporate the knowledge and concepts of other disciplines in order to jointly develop integrative models of individual differences.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jana Uher