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Do animals have personalities? Why scientists are starting to admit they do

JOHN A. SHIVIK: ‘Until recently, science has been reluctant to embrace the idea that animals have emotions — an observable fait accompli for anyone with a companion animal. But scientists have also ignored how non-human animals feel and express their emotions through mood and personality.

Why is science arriving so late to the notion that humans aren’t unique in our emotional responses and individual personalities? Unconscious bias certainly played a role, as scientists betrayed a desire for human-animal towards difference, if not outright superiority. None of us are immune to this confusion, not even scientists. But fear was also part of the problem: For decades, scientists have been ironically blinded by a misguided attempt at objectivity.

Luckily, this is beginning to change, and researchers are beginning to once again look closely — and creatively — at animal personalities. What scientists are finding is astounding. From crabs to coyotes to crows and a myriad of other species, animal personality and emotion is more than cocktail party conversation; personalities enable relations between humans and other species and they drive ecology and evolution’. SOURCE…


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