Extroverts live longer, says gorilla study

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 08:50 hrs

London, Dec 6 (IANS) Gorillas with an outgoing personality tend to live longer than their more introvert cousins, suggests a study.

A team of researchers, led by Alex Weiss, from University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, looked at the role of personality in 298 gorillas in north American zoos and sanctuaries for over 18 years.

"These findings highlight how understanding the natural history of personality is vital to insuring the continued health and well-being of humans, gorillas and other great apes," said Weiss, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences reports.

Their personalities were assessed by keepers, volunteers, researchers and caretakers who knew the gorillas well.

Researchers found that out of four personality traits - dominance, extraversion, neuroticism and agreeableness which was tied to behaviours such as sociability, activity, play and curiosity, was linked with longer survival.

The study found the link between extraversion and survival was not affected by age or gender, rearing condition or how many times the gorilla had moved location.

The study is important in understanding how the relationship between personality and longevity of life is evolved.

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