Animal Behaviour



Personality is the way individuals differ from each other
   - the variation needs to be tempirally consistent
   - the behaviours need to generalise across contexts
   - the behaviours need to be heritable and have fitness consequences

The variability gives selective advantages

Behaviour is only really personality if between-individual variation>within-individual variation

Genes and environment impact personality
Thought to be a relationship between personality and health

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Measuring personality


  • Observations
  • Experimentation
  • Assessment by knowledgeable informants


  • Self-ratings (questionnaires)
  • Assessment by knowledgeable informants
  • Overall score and scales
  • Comparisons

Limitations = risk of anthropomorphism e.g. curious, sympathetic

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Validity and Reliablity


Use both ratings and observed behaviour

  • Knowledge of species behaviour
  • Confounding factors
  • Independent observers
  • Ecological validity


  • Correspondence between raters and observers
  • Clear definition of behaviour association
  • Standard procedures in observational - intra- or inter- observer reliability
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Training animals
   - Reduce stress during procedures
   - Assess personality to determine suitability

Wellbeing of animals
   - Show deficiencies in ocial ability and general adaptability

Releasing into the wild
   - Survival
   - Invasiveness

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