Pondering Primate Personality

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract / Description of output

For a long time the attribution of human characteristics such as personality to nonhuman primates and other animals was 'taboo'. In fact, Jane Goodall herself was criticized in the past for suggesting that the chimpanzees she had been studied had what appeared to be personalities. However, hers is not the first observation of personality in a species of nonhuman primate, nor has it been the last. Moreover, considerable has since revealed that the personalities of chimpanzees and other primates is real, can be reliably measured, and in many cases is a lot like our own personalities, both with respect to its genetic and physiological foundations, how it develops over time, and how it influences multiple aspects of life. I will review some of this literature, focusing largely on contributions by myself, my students, and close collaborators. I will close by offering some tangential thoughts about what, if anything, this work says about what it means to be human.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2016
EventU3A Science Group - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Nov 2016 → …


OtherU3A Science Group
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period17/11/16 → …


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