Chimpanzees and orangutans really do have personalities “like people”, researchers say.
For years experts have debated whether great apes truly display human-like personalities - or if such behaviour is simply the anthropomorphic projections of human observers.
The research team used a statistical technique to “remove” any biases apparent in human observers of the apes’ behaviour, and they say their findings suggest man and ape really do share “personality dimensions”.
“[Chimpanzees] have the same social problems that we do, they want to make friends and find mates and sort of gain position within their society,” says team member Mark Adams, a researcher who conducted the research while studying for his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Dr Alexander Weiss, senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who also worked onthe study, agrees that chimpanzee personality is “highly similar” to that of humans.
Researchers categorise human personality into five “dimensions”, sometimes known as “the big five”, he explains.
“Those dimensions are neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness.”
Previous studies into non-human primates suggest that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) share these five dimensions with people, whilst orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii) display three of the five: extraversion, neuroticism and agreeableness.
Read More at BBC Nature