Personality links with lifespan in chimpanzees

Drew M. Altschul, William D Hopkins, Elizabeth S. Herrelko, Miho Inoue-Murayama, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, James E King, Stephen R Ross, Alexander Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Life history strategies for optimizing individual fitness fall on a spectrum between maximizing reproductive efforts and maintaining physical health over time. Strategies across this spectrum are viable and different suites of personality traits evolved to support these strategies. Using data from 538 captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) we tested whether any of the dimensions of chimpanzee personality – agreeableness, conscientiousness, dominance, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness – were associated with longevity, an attribute of slow life history strategies that is especially important in primates given their relatively long lives. We found that higher agreeableness was related to longevity in males, with weaker evidence suggesting that higher openness is related to longer life in females. Our results link the literature on human and nonhuman primate survival and suggest that, for males, evolution has favored the protective effects of low aggression and high quality social bonds.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33781
Number of pages17
Early online date9 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2018


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