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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Mar;90(3):501-11.

Personality and subjective well-being in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii).

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Laboratory of Personality and Cognition, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii) are semisolitary apes and, among the great apes, the most distantly related to humans. Raters assessed 152 orangutans on 48 personality descriptors; 140 of these orangutans were also rated on a subjective well-being questionnaire. Principal-components analysis yielded 5 reliable personality factors: Extraversion, Dominance, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Intellect. The authors found no factor analogous to human Conscientiousness. Among the orangutans rated on all 48 personality descriptors and the subjective well-being questionnaire, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and low Neuroticism were related to subjective well-being. These findings suggest that analogues of human, chimpanzee, and orangutan personality domains existed in a common ape ancestor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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