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Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) personality


Koski, Sonja E; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M; Ash, Hayley; Burkart, Judith M; Bugnyar, Thomas; Weiss, Alexander (2017). Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) personality. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 131(4):326-336.

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that personality structure differs between species, but the evolutionary reasons for this variation are not fully understood. We built on earlier research on New World monkeys to further elucidate the evolution of personality structure in primates. We therefore examined personality in 100 family-reared adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) from 3 colonies on a 60-item questionnaire. Principal components analyses revealed 5 domains that were largely similar to those found in a previous study on captive, ex-pet, or formerly laboratory-housed marmosets that were housed in a sanctuary. The interrater reliabilities of domain scores were consistent with the interrater reliabilities of domain scores found in other species, including humans. Four domainsdmdash;conscientiousness, agreeableness, inquisitiveness, and assertiveness-resembled personality domains identified in other nonhuman primates. The remaining domain, patience, was specific to common marmosets. We used linear models to test for sex and age differences in the personality domains. Males were lower than females in patience, and this difference was smaller in older marmosets. Older marmosets were lower in inquisitiveness. Finally, older males and younger females had higher scores in agreeableness than younger males and older females. These findings suggest that cooperative breeding may have promoted the evolution of social cognition and influenced the structure of marmoset prosocial personality characteristics.

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that personality structure differs between species, but the evolutionary reasons for this variation are not fully understood. We built on earlier research on New World monkeys to further elucidate the evolution of personality structure in primates. We therefore examined personality in 100 family-reared adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) from 3 colonies on a 60-item questionnaire. Principal components analyses revealed 5 domains that were largely similar to those found in a previous study on captive, ex-pet, or formerly laboratory-housed marmosets that were housed in a sanctuary. The interrater reliabilities of domain scores were consistent with the interrater reliabilities of domain scores found in other species, including humans. Four domainsdmdash;conscientiousness, agreeableness, inquisitiveness, and assertiveness-resembled personality domains identified in other nonhuman primates. The remaining domain, patience, was specific to common marmosets. We used linear models to test for sex and age differences in the personality domains. Males were lower than females in patience, and this difference was smaller in older marmosets. Older marmosets were lower in inquisitiveness. Finally, older males and younger females had higher scores in agreeableness than younger males and older females. These findings suggest that cooperative breeding may have promoted the evolution of social cognition and influenced the structure of marmoset prosocial personality characteristics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:20 Nov 2017 16:15
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:20
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0021-9940
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/com0000089

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