Stability of the guinea pigs personality - cognition - linkage over time
|ANIMAL PERSONALITY; BEHAVIORAL REACTION; Behavioral Sciences; Cavia aperea f. porcellus; Cognition; CONSISTENCY; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; INTELLIGENCE; LEARNING-ABILITY; ORGANIZATION; Personality; Psychology; Psychology, Biological; REPEATABILITY; Stability over time; TRANSPOSITION; VARIABILITY; Zoology
In human psychological research, personality traits as well as cognitive traits are usually validated for both, their stability over time and contexts. While stability over time gives an estimate on how genetically fixated a trait can be, correlations across traits have the power to reveal linkages or trade - offs. In animals, these validations have widely been done for personality but not for cognitive traits. We tested guinea pigs in four consecutive discrimination tasks using four unique pairs of objects with two objects of the same form but different size in each pair. The same animals were tested twice each for three personality traits, i.e. boldness, aggression and sociopositive behaviour. The animals did not learn to ``always choose the larger item'' in the cognitive task but learned to discriminate the two objects of each stimulus pair anew, so that we did test for learning speed in four slightly different task setups. Performance over the four tasks was significantly repeatable as well as all tested personality traits. A stable linkage over time was found between sociopositive behaviour and learning performance, probably indicating an ecological relevance for a correlation between these two traits. Still, not all traits seem to be connected amongst each other, as in our case boldness and aggression are both not linked to individual learning performance. Future studies will hopefully further investigate the repeatability of various cognitive traits in several species and thus lead to a better understanding of the interdependence of personality and cognition. This will help to unravel which suites of traits facilitate individual life histories and hence improve our understanding of the emergence and maintenance of individual differences. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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checked on Feb 23, 2024