SAIL Room, 111 Levin Building (425 S. University Ave.)
Department of Comparative Human Development
University of Chicago
Personality traits and physiological reactivity to stress from a life history perspective
Evolutionary life history theory views much inter-individual variation in human personality traits as being functionally meaningful in social domains such as parent-child and adult romantic attachment, cooperative and competitive social relationships, status-striving, courtship, and sexual/mating strategies. The sources of variation in personality profiles can be genetic or environmental, or both. Variation in endocrine function, and particularly in hormonal reactivity to stimuli, can be an important physiological mechanism mediating the association between personality traits and socio-sexual strategies or decision-making. This presentation will illustrate a series of experimental studies investigating the role of cortisol reactivity to psychosocial stress (as assessed in the laboratory through the Trier Social Stress Test) in mediating the association between variation in extraversion/introversion, morningness/eveningness, or impulsivity/risk-taking and variation in individual propensities toward short or long-term mating, cooperation or competition, and different types of economic decision-making.
The talk will begin at 12pm. A pizza lunch will be served at 11:45am.