The idea that individual differences in behavior and physiology can be partly understood by linking them to a fast-slow continuum of life history strategies has become popular in the evolutionary behavioral sciences. I refer to this approach as the “fast-slow paradigm” of individual differences. The paradigm has generated a substantial amount of research, but has also come increasingly under scrutiny for theoretical, empirical, and methodological reasons. I start by reviewing the basic empirical facts about the fast-slow continuum across species and the main theoretical accounts of its existence. I then discuss the move from the level of species and populations to that of individuals, and the theoretical and empirical complications that follow. I argue that the fast-slow continuum can be a productive heuristic for individual differences; however, the field needs to update its theoretical assumptions, rethink some methodological practices, and explore new approaches and ideas in light of the specific features of the human ecology.

Rethinking the fast-slow continuum of individual differences

Del Giudice, Marco
2020-01-01

Abstract

The idea that individual differences in behavior and physiology can be partly understood by linking them to a fast-slow continuum of life history strategies has become popular in the evolutionary behavioral sciences. I refer to this approach as the “fast-slow paradigm” of individual differences. The paradigm has generated a substantial amount of research, but has also come increasingly under scrutiny for theoretical, empirical, and methodological reasons. I start by reviewing the basic empirical facts about the fast-slow continuum across species and the main theoretical accounts of its existence. I then discuss the move from the level of species and populations to that of individuals, and the theoretical and empirical complications that follow. I argue that the fast-slow continuum can be a productive heuristic for individual differences; however, the field needs to update its theoretical assumptions, rethink some methodological practices, and explore new approaches and ideas in light of the specific features of the human ecology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3066290
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