Fakultäten » Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät » Anthropologisches Institut und Museum » PD Dr. Judith M. Burkart » Koski

Completed research project

Title / Titel The evolution of human personality
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung

Individuals have consistent biases in their behavioural patterns, which differ from other individuals’ behaviour in the same population. Such ‘personality’ has considerable repercussions on ecological and evolutionary processes, at the individual and the group levels. I study the evolution and mechanisms of primate personality from a comparative perspective. Specifically, I focus on chimpanzees and common marmosets, as these species provide excellent comparative models for human evolution. I am especially interested in the role of personality dispositions in the social realm, because roughly half of human personality traits consist of social behaviour. Yet, the understanding of causes and consequences of personality in social systems is currently limited. Furthermore, the interaction between dispositional effects and constraints placed by social and ecological circumstances are largely unstudied, despite their importance in determining individual behavioural outcomes. I also aim to map the evolutionary history of personality structure, i.e. the consistent covariation among traits.
Publications / Publikationen
Publications & Invited Presentations at International Conferences

Koski SE, Vervloet A, Sterck EHM (submitted). Is chimpanzee anxiety proneness a homologous personality trait with human Neuroticism?

Massen, J. J. M., & Koski, S. E. (2014). Chimps of a feather sit together: Chimpanzee friendships are based on homophily in personality. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 1–8.

Massen, J. J. M., Antonides, A., Arnold, A.-M. K., Bionda T., & Koski, S. E. (2013). A Behavioral View on Chimpanzee Personality: Exploration Tendency, Persistence, Boldness, and Tool-Orientation Measured With Group Experiments. American Journal of Primatology 75, 947-958.

Koski, S. E., Kissling, A., Finkenwirth, C., Burkart, J. M.: Common Marmoset Personality Assessed with Behavioural Experiments and Observations, Folia primatologica 84 (3-5), 293-293, EFP meeting Antwerp, Belgium, September 10-13.

Koski SE (2011) Chimp’s a character! Social personality traits in captive chimpanzees.
Gesellschaft für Primatologie Conference, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Keynote speaker.

Koski SE (2011). Social personality traits in chimpanzees: temporal stability and the structure of behaviourally assessed personality traits in three captive populations. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 65, 2161-2174

Koski SE (2011). How to measure personality in animals and why does it matter? In: From Genes to Animal Beh aviour. Eds. M. Inoue-Murayama, S. Kawamura, A. Weiss. Springer Publ., Pp. 115-136. Invited contribution.

Koski SE (2010) Personality in chimpanzees: how to measure it and why does it matter?
Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (KMDA), Antwerp, Belgium

Koski SE (2010) Chimpanzee personality assessed by observational quantification of behaviour in three zoos International Primatological Society, Kyoto, Japan

Koski SE (2010) Chimpanzee personality assessed by observational quantification of behaviour Primate origins of human mind -conference, Kyoto, Japan.

Koski SE, Sterck EHM (2010). Chimpanzee personality assessed by observational quantification of behaviour in three zoos. International Primatological Conference, Abst. IPS10-0526_P1.

Koski SE, Sterck EHM, McGrew WC (2008). Chimpanzee personality studied with a behavioural approach. Primate Eye 96 Abst. #123 (Sp CD-ROM iss - IPS 2008).

Keywords / Suchbegriffe personality, chimpanzee, exploration, observational quantification
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. Sonja Koski (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career), Others
Ella and Georg Ernrooth Foundation (personal grant to SE Koski) Duration: 2011-2012
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Dr. Jorg Massen
Dr. Jeroen Stevens
Dr. Judith Burkart
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2011 to Dec 2014