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Personality in Nonhuman Primates: What Can We Learn from Human Personality Psychology?

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Personality and Temperament in Nonhuman Primates

Part of the book series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects ((DIPR))

Abstract

Primate personality research encounters a number of puzzling methodo­logical challenges. Individuals are unique and comparable at the same time. They are characterized by relatively stable individual-specific behavioral patterns that often show only moderate consistency across situations. Personality is assumed to be temporally stable, yet equally incorporates long-term change and development. These are all déjà vus from human personality psychology. In this chapter, I present classical theories of personality psychology and discuss their suitability for nonhuman species. Using examples from nonhuman primates, I explain basic theoretical concepts, methodological approaches, and methods of measurement of empirical personality research. I place special emphasis on theoretical concepts and methodologies for comparisons of personality variation among populations, such as among species.

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Acknowledgments

I am grateful to the editors and to Wendy Johnson, Jochen Fahrenberg, and Jens Asendorpf for valuable comments on the manuscript. I thank the zookeepers at the Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center in Leipzig, Germany, for their kind cooperation and for rating the apes; Josep Call from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, for supporting this study; and Josefine Kalbitz for recording behavior for the reliability analyses.

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Correspondence to Jana Uher .

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Uher, J. (2011). Personality in Nonhuman Primates: What Can We Learn from Human Personality Psychology?. In: Weiss, A., King, J., Murray, L. (eds) Personality and Temperament in Nonhuman Primates. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0176-6_3

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