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Keywords:

  • personality;
  • personality traits;
  • lion-tailed macaques;
  • Macaca silenus

Abstract

Personality influences an individual's perception of a situation and orchestrates behavioral responses. It is an important factor in elucidating variation in behavior both within and between species. The major focus of this research was to test a method that differs from those used in most previous personality studies, while investigating the personality traits of 52 captive lion-tailed macaques from four zoos. In this study, data from behavioral observations, a P-type principal components analysis (PCA), and bootstrapped confidence intervals as criteria for judging the significance of factor loadings were used rather than subjective ratings, R-type factor analyses, and arbitrary rules of thumb to determine significance. We investigated the relationships among individual component scores and sex, hormonal status, and dominance rank (controlling for age and social group) using a multiple regression analysis with bootstrapped confidence intervals. Three personality dimensions emerged from this analysis: Component 1 contained Extraversion-like behaviors related to sociability and affiliativeness. The higher mean Component score for females suggests that they are more “extraverted” than males. Only agonistic behaviors were significantly related to component 2. High-ranking individuals exhibited higher mean Component 2 scores than mid- or low-ranked individuals. Bold and cautious behaviors both loaded positively on Component 3, suggesting a dimension related to curiosity. The mean Component 3 score for females was higher than the mean score for males. The method used in this study should facilitate intraspecific and general interspecific comparisons. Developing a standardized trait term list that is applicable to many species, and collecting trait term data in the same manner and concurrent with behavioral observations (and physiologic measures when feasible) could prove useful in primate research and should be explored. Am. J. Primatol. 67:177–198, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.