Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Individual Differences

  • Austin S. Baldwin
  • Valerie G. Loehr
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_968



Individual differences in behavioral medicine include demographic, psychological, and/or behavioral dimensions that are shared by all people, but upon which individuals differ in ways that influence their health. For example, evidence suggests that five personality traits (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) are shared among all people, but differences people exhibit on some of these traits (e.g., conscientiousness) account for differences in healthy behavioral practices, and even mortality rates.



Individual differences that are known to influence health include demographic factors (e.g., race, gender, SES), psychological traits (e.g., conscientiousness, neuroticism), and behavioral dispositions (e.g., anger/hostility, coping styles). These types of individual differences influence health outcomes in a variety of ways. For example, individual differences are known to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA