Do animals have personalities?

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Do animals have personalities?

Postby manolo » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:59 pm

Folks,

News from the Beeb. A guy at Plymouth university is doing research into the personalities of hermit crabs. This is not as crazy as it sounds. He keeps them in a big tank and frightens them occasionally. Then he watches to see how quickly they recover and poke their little legs and heads back out of the shell.

He calls this 'bold' or 'shy' personality testing. One result he finds is that crabs which are either bold or shy tend to stay that way for life. He also noted that testing animals for personality is better than human tests as animals can't lie on questionnaires.

So - what do we think? My 2p is that animals have quite complex personalities if our hamster, Bruin, is anyone to go by.

Alex.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Simple Minded » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:04 am

Alex,

absolutely! I would guess that most people who have ever owned more than one animal at a time has a few stories about which animal is bold, shy, dominant, submissive, friendly, fierce, and how their personalities change based on the makeup and needs of the pack/family at any given moment.

We have had dozens of experiences over the last 20 years with a local "Dr. Doolittle" by the name of Patty Summers. She has one of the most amazing gifts I have ever seen a human possess.

http://www.psanimal.com/

The world is a far stranger and more wonderful place than many believe.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Doc » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:07 am

manolo wrote:Folks,

News from the Beeb. A guy at Plymouth university is doing research into the personalities of hermit crabs. This is not as crazy as it sounds. He keeps them in a big tank and frightens them occasionally]. Then he watches to see how quickly they recover and poke their little legs and heads back out of the shell.

He calls this 'bold' or 'shy' personality testing. One result he finds is that crabs which are either bold or shy tend to stay that way for life. He also noted that testing animals for personality is better than human tests as animals can't lie on questionnaires.

So - what do we think? My 2p is that animals have quite complex personalities if our hamster, Bruin, is anyone to go by.

Alex.


I think the question should be "do people have personalities?"

The classes and the races to weak to master the new conditions of life must give way {..} They must perish in the revolutionary holocaust --Karl Marx
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby noddy » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:14 am

i cant imagine anyone who has pets thinking otherwise, the entire concept of animals lacking self awareness or personalities seems to be a leftover from the quaint ideas of the victorian age.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby manolo » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:32 am

Folks,

Confession. I have been doing a little personality testing of my own. This OP went onto two atheist forums and two forums with a more mixed membership (including this one).

Result? Very long threads on the atheist sites with much picking over 'firing neurons', 'AI' metaphors and all kinds of long words I can't follow. No scary clown pics over there.The atheist theme seems to be a materialist reduction on the topic and concerns over the definition of the word 'personality'.

On the OP: we have had three hamsters in recent years, and they each had markedly different personalities, with our current one, Bruin, being a fearless bruiser. The other two were scaredy cats. I'm sure we can guess which one was the female (oops anthropo-sexism alert :( )

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Doc » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:51 pm

manolo wrote:Folks,

Confession. I have been doing a little personality testing of my own. This OP went onto two atheist forums and two forums with a more mixed membership (including this one).

Result? Very long threads on the atheist sites with much picking over 'firing neurons', 'AI' metaphors and all kinds of long words I can't follow. No scary clown pics over there.The atheist theme seems to be a materialist reduction on the topic and concerns over the definition of the word 'personality'.

On the OP: we have had three hamsters in recent years, and they each had markedly different personalities, with our current one, Bruin, being a fearless bruiser. The other two were scaredy cats. I'm sure we can guess which one was the female (oops anthropo-sexism alert :( )

Alex.


I think the answer to your question is certainly they do Alex. They live under the rules of nature vs nurture just like people do. How they interact with the above is personality. The emotional response to stimuli of nature vs the response do to rules learned from nurture.
The classes and the races to weak to master the new conditions of life must give way {..} They must perish in the revolutionary holocaust --Karl Marx
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby manolo » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:41 am

Doc wrote:I think the answer to your question is certainly they do Alex. They live under the rules of nature vs nurture just like people do. How they interact with the above is personality. The emotional response to stimuli of nature vs the response do to rules learned from nurture.


Doc,

There is sense in your thinking, although I would not limit 'personality' to responses and reactions. Too Skinnerish for my taste.

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:04 am

manolo wrote:
Doc wrote:I think the answer to your question is certainly they do Alex. They live under the rules of nature vs nurture just like people do. How they interact with the above is personality. The emotional response to stimuli of nature vs the response do to rules learned from nurture.


Doc,

There is sense in your thinking, although I would not limit 'personality' to responses and reactions. Too Skinnerish for my taste.

Alex.

Skinner was pretty correct about animals as far as he went, but people are born with individual temperments and a drive for competence (Burton White). Individual differences on a fussy/content scale are present very early on, and affect parental interaction. White demonstrated human babies prefer to work to control a mobile rather than have one randomly operated.

Also, babies fuss less when their cries are attended to promptly. Skinner would predict the positive reinforcement of affection and food would increase crying.

I don't know if anyone has done similar research on animals, but as of 1980 nobody had.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Doc » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:53 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
manolo wrote:
Doc wrote:I think the answer to your question is certainly they do Alex. They live under the rules of nature vs nurture just like people do. How they interact with the above is personality. The emotional response to stimuli of nature vs the response do to rules learned from nurture.


Doc,

There is sense in your thinking, although I would not limit 'personality' to responses and reactions. Too Skinnerish for my taste.

Alex.

Skinner was pretty correct about animals as far as he went, but people are born with individual temperments and a drive for competence (Burton White). Individual differences on a fussy/content scale are present very early on, and affect parental interaction. White demonstrated human babies prefer to work to control a mobile rather than have one randomly operated.

Also, babies fuss less when their cries are attended to promptly. Skinner would predict the positive reinforcement of affection and food would increase crying.

I don't know if anyone has done similar research on animals, but as of 1980 nobody had.


I once had a teacher that knew Skinner's daughter. She said she was kind of strange. However a counter example. IF you place a baby to bed and they cry it works better if you let them cry for a while before going into to see them. Say about 10 minutes. Babies are hard wired to tell you they think something is wrong. If you go running into the room where they are supposed to be sleeping too quickly you are reinforcing their belief that something is wrong so they cry more often.

People as well as Animals are more the sun of their nature + how they are nurtured than most would want to acknowledge. How many times have you known someone that had to learn the hard way? Personally from what I have seen in life, the people that can learn the easy way is the very rare exceptions. Sure some people are better at given things than others but success at life can mean multitudes of different things. The first thing being reproduction But with humans reproduction is not essential for being successful. With wild animals it certainly is needed nearly always. As there is no other point for them personally to exist outside of the test of survival and procreation. Any personality they have is highly focused on doing just that. Which I suspect would limit the amount of variation between individual personalities.

AS human have evolved beyond Darwin's selection bias of survival of the fittest by making un-natural rules to live together without killing each other even beyond tribe, it is possible for someone without the right looks or the right charisma or belonging to the right "tribe" to do quite well. But that still does not make it as easy as if one does have some or all of the above on their side.

Humans do not always need a survival response and reaction in producing offspring. But the animal personality still shows it self often enough.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:09 am

Doc wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:
manolo wrote:
Doc wrote:I think the answer to your question is certainly they do Alex. They live under the rules of nature vs nurture just like people do. How they interact with the above is personality. The emotional response to stimuli of nature vs the response do to rules learned from nurture.


Doc,

There is sense in your thinking, although I would not limit 'personality' to responses and reactions. Too Skinnerish for my taste.

Alex.

Skinner was pretty correct about animals as far as he went, but people are born with individual temperments and a drive for competence (Burton White). Individual differences on a fussy/content scale are present very early on, and affect parental interaction. White demonstrated human babies prefer to work to control a mobile rather than have one randomly operated.

Also, babies fuss less when their cries are attended to promptly. Skinner would predict the positive reinforcement of affection and food would increase crying.

I don't know if anyone has done similar research on animals, but as of 1980 nobody had.


IF you place a baby to bed and they cry it works better if you let them cry for a while before going into to see them. Say about 10 minutes. Babies are hard wired to tell you they think something is wrong. If you go running into the room where they are supposed to be sleeping too quickly you are reinforcing their belief that something is wrong so they cry more

Nope. The experiments have been done and the quicker, longer responses make babies cry less. I forget the studies, but I did a couple grad school semesters in developmental psychology at Tulane before I dropped out to get into digital imaging and printing.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:30 am

Doc wrote:I think the question should be "do people have personalities?"




yeah............
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby manolo » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:01 pm

Folks,

Walking home today I was accosted by a female ginger cat. Good grief, she had every hot vamp's trick in the book! She twisted round my legs, jumped up on the wall to get some eye contact, rolled on her back and purred with the stroking. I would swear she knew that I am male (she avoided my wife). I was hooked. Some locals told me that she is a stray, living rough in that street.

Tomorrow I'll sneak down there with some fresh sardines. Personality? She made Mae West look like Hillary Clinton!

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:09 am

Argument FOR the proposition.....'>.......:

Image

http://lady-feral.tumblr.com/post/10712 ... ist-nhaneh
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:35 am

manolo wrote:Folks,

Walking home today I was accosted by a female ginger cat. Good grief, she had every hot vamp's trick in the book! She twisted round my legs, jumped up on the wall to get some eye contact, rolled on her back and purred with the stroking. I would swear she knew that I am male (she avoided my wife). I was hooked. Some locals told me that she is a stray, living rough in that street.

Tomorrow I'll sneak down there with some fresh sardines. Personality? She made Mae West look like Hillary Clinton!

Alex.


Sounds like a cat that has IDed you as a kind soul. They have accurate intuition. Amazing to watch them access situations.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby manolo » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:20 pm

Simple Minded wrote:Sounds like a cat that has IDed you as a kind soul. They have accurate intuition. Amazing to watch them access situations.


SM,

B***** H**** you are dead right. I've been picking up waifs and strays for 20 years. Even the cat world can see me as a soft touch!

:x

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:17 am

manolo wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:Sounds like a cat that has IDed you as a kind soul. They have accurate intuition. Amazing to watch them access situations.


SM,

B***** H**** you are dead right. I've been picking up waifs and strays for 20 years. Even the cat world can see me as a soft touch!

:x

Alex.


B***** H**** ? :? Blind Hog?

When it comes to evaluating humans, cats are ruthless, efficient, and never wrong.

I think cats are the pre-invasion long term recon intelligence agents for an advanced extra terrestrial species...... no one has a better read on humanity than cats!

"Really? You think humans are an intelligent species?
Really? Give me a f**king break!
How about getting off your fat, hairless ass and getting me something to kill, eat, play with, or fall asleep on..."
"the greatest artist is the simplifier."

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:00 am

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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Typhoon » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:27 pm

As someone who has been on staff for various cats over many decades, it is clear that different individual animals will often respond differently to the same, or similar, situation.

For example, to be let in:

One cat would jump on a windowsill, scaling a wall if need be, and peer inside until someone noticed her.

Another would knock on the door, rapidly and repeatedly smacking the door with it's paw to get attention.

A third would hide and patiently wait, no matter what, for someone to wonder where he is and go outside to look.

So each cat exhibited different behaviours in the same situation.

I suppose that a collection of such unique behaviours can be said to constitute a personality.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:56 pm

Typhoon wrote:As someone who has been on staff for various cats over many decades, it is clear that different individual animals will often respond differently to the same, or similar, situation.

For example, to be let in:

One cat would jump on a windowsill, scaling a wall if need be, and peer inside until someone noticed her.

Another would knock on the door, rapidly and repeatedly smacking the door with it's paw to get attention.

A third would hide and patiently wait, no matter what, for someone to wonder where he is and go outside to look.

So each cat exhibited different behaviours in the same situation.

I suppose that a collection of such unique behaviours can be said to constitute a personality.

Poor experimental design. Cats do not have personalities. Put some in a washing machine and they all act exactly the same.
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Re: Do animals have personalities?

Postby Typhoon » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:42 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
Typhoon wrote:As someone who has been on staff for various cats over many decades, it is clear that different individual animals will often respond differently to the same, or similar, situation.

For example, to be let in:

One cat would jump on a windowsill, scaling a wall if need be, and peer inside until someone noticed her.

Another would knock on the door, rapidly and repeatedly smacking the door with it's paw to get attention.

A third would hide and patiently wait, no matter what, for someone to wonder where he is and go outside to look.

So each cat exhibited different behaviours in the same situation.

I suppose that a collection of such unique behaviours can be said to constitute a personality.

Poor experimental design. Cats do not have personalities. Put some in a washing machine and they all act exactly the same.


Put people in a washing machine and they will also all act exactly the same :wink:
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