Extraverted gorillas enjoy longer lives, research suggests

Dec 05, 2012

An international team of researchers looked at the role of personality by studying 298 gorillas in North American zoos and sanctuaries for over 18 years.

The gorillas' personalities were assessed by keepers, volunteers, researchers and caretakers who knew the gorillas well. Their personality was scored with measures adapted from techniques for studying people and other primates.

Researchers found that out of four – dominance, extraversion, and – extraversion, which was associated with behaviours such as sociability, activity, play and curiosity, was linked with longer survival.

The study found that the link between extraversion and survival was not affected by age or gender, rearing condition or how many times the gorilla had moved location.

Researchers say these findings are consistent with studies in people which found that extraverts tend to live longer.

The study, carried out on western lowland gorillas is important in understanding how the relationship between personality and longevity of life evolved.

Dr Alex Weiss, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said: "These findings highlight how understanding the natural history of personality is vital to insuring the continued health and well-being of humans, gorillas and other great apes."

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

More information: The study is published today in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers identify personality traits

Apr 03, 2009

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) New England Centenarian Study have noted specific personality traits associated with healthy aging and longevity amongst the children of centenarians. The work ...

New research suggests apes have human-like personalities

May 28, 2012

(Phys.org) -- For as long as people have coexisted with other animals, they have debated amongst themselves whether some animals have some of the same personality traits as humans or if it’s just anthropomorphism ...

Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas

Apr 01, 2011

Two species of gorillas live in central equatorial Africa. Divergence between the Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and Eastern Gorillas (G. beringei) began between 0.9 and 1.6 million years ago and now the two species l ...

Brain structure corresponds to personality

Jun 22, 2010

Personalities come in all kinds. Now psychological scientists have found that the size of different parts of people's brains correspond to their personalities; for example, conscientious people tend to have a bigger lateral ...

Playful minds: Gorillas play games just like we do

Jan 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Gorillas play competitive games like we do, helping to keep games going and even giving younger friends a fair chance, according to the latest research. The study, by psychologists at the University of St ...

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.