Comparison of subjective well-being and personality assessments in the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and African lion (Panthera leo)

Marieke Cassia Gartner (Lead Author), Alexander Weiss, David Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study of subjective well-being in nonhuman animals is growing in the field of psychology, but there are still only a few published studies, and the focus is on primates. To consider whether the construct of subjective well-being could be found in another mammal, this study aimed to assess subjective well-being in felids, and to examine its association with personality. Personality is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being in humans. This relationship could have important implications for other species, since personality has also been shown to affect health outcomes including stress, morbidity, and mortality. As in previous studies in nonhuman animals, we found that subjective well-being was related to Agreeableness/Openness and Neuroticism in clouded leopards, Neuroticism in snow leopards, and Impulsiveness and Neuroticism in African lions. The implications of these results for health outcomes and captive animal welfare are discussed. More research on any direct links between personality, subjective well-being, and these outcomes is important to advancing this field and adding another tool for improving captive animals’ lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-302
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date16 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords

  • well-being
  • personality
  • felids

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