Personality traits of adolescent pig-tailed monkeys (Macaca nemestrina): An analysis of social rank and early separation experience

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Abstract

Personality ratings of ten adolescent pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were carried out by three experienced observers who used a simple three-point rating system. A modification of Stevenson-Hinde & Zunz's [1978] procedure, the agreement between raters on each of 21 traits was evaluated. When correlated with social rank, it was shown that dominant animals were rated as being, for example, confident, effective, and opportunistic. Subordinant monkeys were rated as insecure and dependent. Rank correlated negatively, however, with observers' impressions of popularity. Subjects who had undergone a brief maternal separation were rated as less sociable than their nonseparated counterparts. Furthermore, rank-related traits corresponded well with the three personality components that were derived by Stevenson-Hind & Zunz [1978]; this suggested that clusters of traits reliably accompanied and/or contributed to the attainment of social rank.

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