Primary emotional systems and personality: An evolutionary perspective

The present article highlights important concepts of personality including stability issues from the perspective of situational demands and stability over the life-course. Following this more introductory section, we argue why individual differences in primary emotional systems may represent the phylogenetically oldest parts of human personality. Our argumentation leads to the need to increasingly consider individual differences in the raw affects/emotions of people to understand human personality in a bottom-up fashion, which can be coordinated with top-down perspectives. In support of this idea, we also review existing evidence linking individual differences in primal emotions as assessed with the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales and the widely accepted Big Five Model of Personality. In this context, we provide additional evidence on the link between primal emotions and personality in German and Chinese sample populations. In short, this article addresses evolutionary perspectives in the evaluation of human personality, highlighting some of the ancestral emotional urges that probably still control variations in the construction of human personality structures. Moreover, we address how individual differences in primary emotional systems can illuminate linkages to major human psychopathologies and the potential advantages and disadvantages of carrying a certain personality trait within certain cultural/environmental niches. © 2017 Montag and Panksepp.

The present article highlights important concepts of personality including stability issues from the perspective of situational demands and stability over the life-course. Following this more introductory section, we argue why individual differences in primary emotional systems may represent the phylogenetically oldest parts of human personality. Our argumentation leads to the need to increasingly consider individual differences in the raw affects/emotions of people to understand human personality in a bottom-up fashion, which can be coordinated with top-down perspectives. In support of this idea, we also review existing evidence linking individual differences in primal emotions as assessed with the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales and the widely accepted Big Five Model of Personality. In this context, we provide additional evidence on the link between primal emotions and personality in German and Chinese sample populations. In short, this article addresses evolutionary perspectives in the evaluation of human personality, highlighting some of the ancestral emotional urges that probably still control variations in the construction of human personality structures. Moreover, we address how individual differences in primary emotional systems can illuminate linkages to major human psychopathologies and the potential advantages and disadvantages of carrying a certain personality trait within certain cultural/environmental niches. © 2017 Montag and Panksepp.

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