Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/12353
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Taking personality selection bias seriously in animal cognition research: a case study in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella)
Authors: Morton, F Blake
Lee, Phyllis C
Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M
Contact Email: pl4@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Platyrrhines
Temperament
Cognitive experiment
Selection bias
Associative learning
Training
Issue Date: Jul-2013
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Morton FB, Lee PC & Buchanan-Smith HM (2013) Taking personality selection bias seriously in animal cognition research: a case study in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella), Animal Cognition, 16 (4), pp. 677-684.
Abstract: In most experimental work on animal cognition, researchers attempt to control for multiple interacting variables by training subjects prior to testing, allowing subjects to participate voluntarily, and providing subjects with food rewards. However, do such methods encourage selection bias from subjects' personalities? In this study, we trained eighteen zoo-housed capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) for two experiments, under conditions of positive reinforcement (i.e. food rewards) and free-choice participation. Using a combination of behavioral and rater-based methods, we identified and validated five personality dimensions in these capuchins (Assertiveness, Openness, Neuroticism, Sociability, and Attentiveness). Scores on Openness were positively related to individual differences in monkey task participation, reflecting previous work showing that such individuals are often more active, curious, and willing to engage in testing. We also found a negative relationship between scores on Assertiveness and performance on tasks, which may reflect the trade-offs between speed and accuracy in these animals' decision-making. Highly Assertive individuals (the most sociable within monkey groups) may also prioritize social interactions over engaging in research. Lastly, monkeys that consistently participated and performed well on both tasks showed significantly higher Openness and lower Assertiveness compared to others, mirroring relationships found between personality, participation, and performance among all participants. Participation and performance during training was clearly biased toward individuals with particular personalities (i.e. high Openness, low Assertiveness). Results are discussed in light of the need for careful interpretation of comparative data on animal cognition and the need for researchers to take personality selection bias more seriously.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/12353
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-013-0603-5
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Stirling
Psychology
Psychology

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