A team of researchers working at Université libre de Bruxelles has found that not only do cockroaches have unique individual personalities, but their differences can also have an impact on group dynamics. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes the experiments they conducted as part of their study and why what they learned might help explain why roaches are so good at surviving in different types of environments.
Prior research has shown that humans are not the only ones with unique personalities, other animals such as dogs and cats and many other mammals have been found to behave differently depending on their personality—also, scientists have found that a host of invertebrates also have unique personalities. In this new study the researchers sought to discover if the same was true for cockroaches.
To find out, the group assembled 19 groups of cockroaches with 16 individual same-age males in each. All had tiny transmitters attached so that their movements could be precisely tracked. Each group was released into a plastic arena (three times a week) from which they could not escape—which was initially completely dark. Just above the arena, the team placed several disks that would cast shadows down below when the lights were turned on. This allowed the researchers to track the roaches as they sought to hide in the shadows, or not, both individually, and when they were members of a group.
In analyzing the behavior of the cockroaches, the researchers found that there were clear differences in personality between individuals—when left alone, some would scurry to hide as soon as the light was turned on, while others dawdled or ignored the light altogether. They also found that some took a lot longer to work up the nerve to venture out after the light remained on for a long period of time. The researchers also found that the individual personalities tended to result in a group personality that was evidenced by how long it took a group as a whole to hide in the shade after the lights came on or how long it took to disperse. Notably, they also found that the behavior of the individual roaches was different depending on if they were alone or in a group—running to hide, for example when with a group when they would not do so when alone.
pAccording to a new study, female night owls had cortisol levels comparable to men. The researcher suggests high cortisol levels could be a biological mechanism which explains higher risk taking in ...
Sandeep Gautam's insight:
I am a night owl and a risk taker though other things don't apply:-)
Dr. Millon was a crucial figure in shaping the understanding of personality disorders, and a self-described exemplar of “secure narcissism.”
Sandeep Gautam's insight:
Dr. Millon, he wrote of himself, was distinguished from many others in the book “by the fact that he appears, contrawise, to be invariably buoyant, if not jovial. Critics are not invariably enamored, however, finding his work to be, at times, too speculative, his writing unduly imaginative, and his creativity overly expansive.” RIP Dr. Millon
Today I read a paper by De Young about Cybernetic Big 5 theory of personality and that led me to think hard about my own conceptualization of personality. The below is an effort to elucidate the CB5T as well as to enhance and point out the commonalities with my own conception.
A few years ago, I wrote an article titled, “Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism“, in which I first discussed the potential genetic link between Sociopaths and Heroes, or X-Altruists. In theory, their genetic make-up is very similar—same basic group of extreme traits in each personality—with a few important exceptions, one being expressed empathy. This notion was hinted at in 1995 by Behavior Geneticist David Thoreson Lykken  in his book, The Antisocial Personalities, when he said, “the hero and the psychopath may be twigs on the same genetic branch.” It is very possible that two members of the same family—even brothers in a shared home environment—could end up as seemingly polar opposites; one doing extreme good: the X-Altruist, the other doing extreme bad: the Sociopath.
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