Animal personality: what are behavioural ecologists actually measuring?

Carter, Alecia J. , Feeney, William E. , Marshall, Harry H. , Cowlishaw, Guy and Heinsohn, Robert (2013) Animal personality: what are behavioural ecologists actually measuring?. Biological Reviews, 88 2: 465-475. doi:10.1111/brv.12007


Author Carter, Alecia J.
Feeney, William E.
Marshall, Harry H.
Cowlishaw, Guy
Heinsohn, Robert
Title Animal personality: what are behavioural ecologists actually measuring?
Journal name Biological Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-185X
1464-7931
Publication date 2013-05-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/brv.12007
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 88
Issue 2
Start page 465
End page 475
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract The discovery that an individual may be constrained, and even behave sub-optimally, because of its personality type has fundamental implications for understanding individual- to group-level processes. Despite recent interest in the study of animal personalities within behavioural ecology, the field is fraught with conceptual and methodological difficulties inherent in any young discipline. We review the current agreement of definitions and methods used in personality studies across taxa and systems, and find that current methods risk misclassifying traits. Fortunately, these problems have been faced before by other similar fields during their infancy, affording important opportunities to learn from past mistakes. We review the tools that were developed to overcome similar methodological problems in psychology. These tools emphasise the importance of attempting to measure animal personality traits using multiple tests and the care that needs to be taken when interpreting correlations between personality traits or their tests. Accordingly, we suggest an integrative theoretical framework that incorporates these tools to facilitate a robust and unified approach in the study of animal personality.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 148 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 146 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 29 May 2017, 11:26:29 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences