Research on primate personality and social relationships


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Primate Personality Net is a research network dedicated to the scientific investigation of 'personality differences' and social relationships in primate species. 

Individual-specific behaviours - that is 'personality' differences - can be found in a wide range of species including apes and monkeys. From an evolutionary perspective, individual-specificity is assumed to reduce the pressure of competition between members of a species and to represent a variability reservoir for the species' successful adaptation to future ecological changes. 

What kinds of individual-specific behaviours emerge in different primate species? What particular approaches and methods are therefore needed? Why do some individuals get along with each other, while others do not? Are there any differences between different primate species and if so how could these be explained?

Answering these questions can contribute to our understanding of how and why individual-specific patterns in behaviour emerge in different species and how they may influence social relationships. This could also help solving current problems in animal welfare, zoo management and captive breeding, especially in highly endangered species, such as great apes.  

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG (German Science Foundation; grant nr. UH249/1-1) when hosted at Free University Berlin, Germany during 2010-2013.