2 personality traits humans share with dolphins, according to new research

Lisa Walden
·2-min read
Photo credit: Catherine Clark/www.cjdolfinphotography.co.uk - Getty Images
Photo credit: Catherine Clark/www.cjdolfinphotography.co.uk - Getty Images

From Country Living

Dolphins have similar personality traits to humans despite living in different environments, a new study has found.

Research, which was published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, analysed 134 male and female bottlenose dolphins from the around the world to learn more about their personalities.

While we know that dolphins are friendly, loving and caring creatures, the research found that they share "certain personality traits" with humans, including curiosity and sociability.

Dr Blake Morton, a psychology lecturer at the University of Hull and the lead author of the study, told The Guardian: "Dolphins were a great animal for this kind of study because, like primates, dolphins are intelligent and social. We reasoned that if factors such as intelligence and gregariousness contribute to personality, then dolphins should have similar personality traits to primates.

"Dolphins, like many primates, have brains that are considerably larger than what their bodies require for basic bodily functions; this excess of brain matter essentially powers their ability to be intelligent, and intelligent species are often very curious."

Dr Blake explained that human personalities are defined by five personality traits — openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. In order to better understand ourselves, he explained that animal comparisons can be helpful.

He added: "Scientists still do not fully understand why our behaviour comes down to those five traits, so one way of doing that is to compare ourselves to other animals – what we share in common and why.

"Most research has been done on primates so we decided to do something different and look at dolphins. No one's ever studied personality in dolphins before in the way we have."

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