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Assessing Chimpanzee Personality and Subjective Well-Being in Japan

Alexander Weiss, Miho Inoue-Murayama, Kyung-Won Hong, Eiji Inoue, Toshifumi Udono,Tomomi Ochiai, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Satoshi Hirata, AND James E. King

We tested whether the cultural background of raters influenced ratings of chimpanzee personality. Our study involved comparing personality and subjective well-being ratings of 146 chimpanzees in Japan that were housed in zoos, research institutes, and a retirement sanctuary to ratings of chimpanzees in US and Australian zoos. Personality ratings were made on a translated and expanded version of a questionnaire used to rate chimpanzees in the US and Australia. Subjective well-being ratings were made on a translated version of a questionnaire used to rate chimpanzees in the US and Australia. The mean interrater reliabilities of the 43 original adjectives did not markedly differ between the present sample and the original sample of 100 zoo chimpanzees in the US. Interrater reliabilities of these samples were highly correlated, suggesting that their rank order was preserved. Comparison of the factor structures for the Japanese sample and for the original sample of chimpanzees in US zoos indicated that the overall structure was replicated and that the Dominance, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness domains clearly generalized. Consistent with earlier studies, older chimpanzees had higher Dominance and lower Extraversion and Openness scores. Correlations between the six domain scores and subjective well-being were comparable to those for chimpanzees housed in the US and Australia. These findings suggest that chimpanzee personality ratings are not affected by the culture of the raters. Am. J. Primatol. 71:283–292, 2009.

American Journal of Primatology 71:283–292 (2009)



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