One of the major contributions of recent personality psychology is the finding that traits are related to each other in an organized hierarchy. To date, however, researchers have yet to investigate this hierarchy in nonhuman primates. Such investigations are critical in confirming the cross-species nature of trait personality helping to illuminate personality as neurobiologically-based and evolutionarily-derived dimensions of primate disposition. Investigations of potential genetic polymorphisms associated with hierarchical models of personality among nonhuman primates represent a critical first step. The current study examined the hierarchical structure of chimpanzee personality as well as sex-specific associations with a polymorphism in the promoter region of the vasopressin V1a receptor gene (AVPR1A), a gene associated with dispositional traits, among 174 chimpanzees. Results confirmed a hierarchical structure of personality across species and, despite differences in early rearing experiences, suggest a sexually dimorphic role of AVPR1A polymorphisms on hierarchical personality profiles at a higher-order level.
Latzman RD, Hopkins WD, Keebaugh AC, Young LJ (2014) Personality in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Exploring the Hierarchical Structure and Associations with the Vasopressin V1A Receptor Gene. PLoS ONE 9(4): e95741. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095741
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