Theories may provide ultimate or proximal explanations for behavior, particularly in the evolutionary paradigm. Ultimate explanations attempt to understand behavior based on our long evolutionary history in our remote ancestral environments. Proximal explanations seek understanding in our immediate biological and social environments. In this chapter, we examine both ultimate and proximal biological explanations for personality disorders (the evolutionary and neurobiological theories, respectively). These biological theories are perhaps most useful in providing foundations for understanding the origins of personality disorders but they are less useful for the purposes of case conceptualization and informing treatment.

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