The Ultimate Animal Personality Quiz
By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors
About This Quiz
Asking whether animals have personalities seems a bit strange to those who own pets. To a pet owner it's obvious that pets have personalities. Take this quiz and see why.
How can you observe animal personalities in action?
Look up canine behavioral habits on Google.
Watch dogs interacting in a local dog park.
Take a stroll in a neighborhood dog park and watch the interactions of the various dogs.
Visit a Flower Show to see them in a floral environment.
How does a scientist begin to determine whether an animal has a personality?
studies the animal for a period of time
requests report on behavior of the animal from its owner
defines what he means by personality
He first needs to define what he means by personality -- whether it is just a collection of traits or do these traits have to be unique and enduring.
Do animals suffer from depression?
There is an antidepressant for dogs made by the Prozac company.
It would seem so, considering the FDA has approved an antidepressant for dogs made by the company that makes Prozac and which has been used to treat 70 percent of depressed dogs.
This is a totally ridiculous idea.
Only certain breeds suffer from depression.
What do experts say about parrots that have been left alone?
Their disposition makes them immune to negative behavior.
They suffer from depression.
They say they suffer from separation anxiety or depression and can harm themselves. This behavior has been treated with liquid Prozac.
They will act aggressively towards their owners after being left alone.
According to studies, how many dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety?
more than 10 million dogs
Certain studies estimate that more than 10 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety.
How does the academic world regard the study of personality in animals?
There is a great deal of skepticism, but it seems to be declining slightly since research on animal personality has been growing since the 1990s.
What is the major problem in studying a dog's personality?
Basically, except for Dr. Dolittle, we cannot communicate with the dog to hear about its feelings.
How did Dr. Gosling research dog personality?
by using a variation of Pavlov's research
by noting consistent responses to various controlled situations
by comparing interpretations by observers of humans and dogs
He compared how observers interpret personality in other humans and in dogs using two test groups, one familiar with the subjects and the other not.
What did Gosling find?
Judgments were consistent for both humans and dogs.
He found the judgments to be consistent for the humans and the dogs.
Observers familiar with the test subjects were more accurate in judgment.
Certain breeds of dogs were more open in their behavior.
What factor could cause differences in behavior patterns between a dog, for instance, and a less domesticated animal?
Dogs are considered more intelligent than other animals.
A dog is a naturally loyal and obedient animal.
Dogs and other domestic pets are trained to some degree or another.
Humans spend time with their dogs, train them and even manipulate breeding.
Do wild animals have personality traits?
Nothing distinct or definitive has been found so far.
Scientists found distinct and varied personalities in wild birds.
Scientists in the Netherlands studied a species of wild birds, called the Great Tit, and found distinct and varied personalities.
Certain traits have been found in a few mammals.
What were some of the traits of the Great Tit?
Most of the females were shy and timid.
Their size and coloring determined their personality traits in any given situation.
Some were aggressive and some were timid
Some were found to be aggressive and adventurous while others were shy and timid.
What were scientists able to do by controlling how the Great Tits were bred?
They were able to amplify certain characteristics.
They were able to amplify certain characteristics leading one scientist to conclude that more than half the differences in traits was a result of genetic inheritance.
They were able to make the big tits more aggressive.
They were able to make them responsive to voice commands.
Natural selection usually weeds out one personality or the other. How has this affected these birds?
There is a greater tendency for them to be aggressive.
Because of conservation projects the more timid birds have flourished.
Personalities have remained diverse.
Strangely enough the personalities of these birds has remained significantly diverse.
What do other studies of animals show?
Only dogs, birds and primates showed signs of personality.
They found personality traits in a number of different species.
These studies have found personality traits in hyenas, ferrets, primates and spiders.
The only traits found were aggressive or timid behavior.
What is the main question arising from these researches?
why more research has not been done
benefits to mankind resulting from awareness of these traits
reliability of using human personality terms in reference to animals
Skeptics question the reliability of using human personality terms on animals.
All this research raises a basic question: So what if animals have personalities?
Knowing a dog's personality makes it easier to choose one according to your preferences.
Regarding dogs, if a dog's personality can be assessed, people could choose a dog according to their personal tastes and preferences.
It's basically a curiosity with no practical application.
Veterinarians would know how to treat the animals for psychological disorders.
What practical application could knowing a dog's personality have?
You could train dogs to help other dogs.
You could better determine the suitability of dogs for tasks like guiding or detecting explosives.
Knowing a dog's personality could help predict which dogs will be best in search-and-rescue, explosive detection or guiding.
Reduce the number of attacks on human beings by controlled breeding.
How can studying animal behavior benefit humans?
There is a direct correlation between animal and human behavior.
The differences are so great that the tests are applicable only to animals.
Some tests can be done on animals but not on humans.
There are certain personality tests that are easier or more ethical to perform on animals than on human subjects.
What is a Bowlingual?
It's a device to interpret a dog's emotions by analyzing it's barks.
It is an invention by a Japanese company claiming to be able to interpret a dog's emotions by analyzing its barks.
It's a device that translates simple commands into barks that dogs can understand.
It's a controlled feeding bowl used in behavioral research.