Browsing by Subject "PERSONALITY"

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  • Service, S. K.; Verweij, K. J. H.; Lahti, J.; Congdon, E.; Ekelund, J.; Hintsanen, M.; Räikkönen, Katri; Lehtimaki, T.; Kahonen, M.; Widen, E.; Taanila, A.; Veijola, J.; Heath, A. C.; Madden, P. A. F.; Montgomery, G. W.; Sabatti, C.; Jarvelin, M-R; Palotie, A.; Raitakari, O.; Viikari, J.; Martin, N. G.; Eriksson, J. G.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Wray, N. R.; Freimer, N. B. (2012)
  • Hakanen, Emma; Mikkola, Salla; Salonen, Milla; Puurunen, Jenni; Sulkama, Sini; Araujo, Cesar; Lohi, Hannes (2020)
    Behavioural problems are leading welfare issues in domestic dogs. In particular, anxiety-related behavioural problems, such as fearfulness and noise sensitivity are highly prevalent conditions that cause distress to fearful dogs. To better understand the environmental factors associated with non-social fear, including noise sensitivity, fear of novel situations, and fear of surfaces and heights, a large online survey including data on 13,700 Finnish pet dogs was performed by the dog owners. After fulfilling inclusion criteria, this data consisted of 9,613 dogs with fear of fireworks, 9,513 dogs with fear of thunder, 6,945 dogs with fear of novel situations, and 2,932 dogs with fear of surfaces and heights. Logistic regression analyses revealed that dogs with frequent non-social fear had experienced less socialisation during puppyhood, were more often neutered, had inexperienced owners, lived without conspecifics, participated less frequently in activities or training, and lived in more urban environments. In addition, we identified several breed differences, and a tendency of more common non-social fear in small dog breeds, which suggests a genetic background. Non-social fearfulness has a negative effect on well-being of the dogs. Our findings suggest that the socialisation and the living environment and the value of other dogs' company and owner interaction via activities and training may improve the well-being of the dogs.
  • Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Lindeman, Marjaana (2018)
    Actively open-minded thinking (AOT) is often used as a proxy for reflective thinking in research on reasoning and related fields. It is associated with less biased reasoning in many types of tasks. However, few studies have examined its psychometric properties and criterion validity. We developed a shortened, 17-item version of the AOT for quicker administration. AOT17 is highly correlated with the original 41-item scale and has highly similar relationships to other thinking dispositions, social competence and supernatural beliefs. Our analyses revealed that the AOT is not a unitary construct, but comprises four distinct dimensions, some of which concern attitudes towards knowledge, and others concern attitudes towards people. This factor structure was replicated in another data-set, and correlations with other measures in four data-sets (total N = 3345) support the criterion validity of these dimensions. Different dimensions were responsible for the AOT's relationships with other thinking dispositions.
  • Mattsson, Markus; Hailikari, Telle; Parpala, Anna (2020)
    Quantitative research into the nature of academic emotions has thus far been dominated by factor analyses of questionnaire data. Recently, psychometric network analysis has arisen as an alternative method of conceptualizing the composition of psychological phenomena such as emotions: while factor models view emotions as underlying causes of affects, cognitions and behavior, in network models psychological phenomena are viewed as arising from the interactions of their component parts. We argue that the network perspective is of interest to studies of academic emotions due to its compatibility with the theoretical assumptions of the control value theory of academic emotions. In this contribution we assess the structure of a Finnish questionnaire of academic emotions using both network analysis and exploratory factor analysis on cross-sectional data obtained during a single course. The global correlational structure of the network, investigated using the spinglass community detection analysis, differed from the results of the factor analysis mainly in that positive emotions were grouped in one community but loaded on different factors. Local associations between pairs of variables in the network model may arise due to different reasons, such as variable A causing variation in variable B or vice versa, or due to a latent variable affecting both. We view the relationship between feelings of self-efficacy and the other emotions as causal hypotheses, and argue that strengthening the students' self-efficacy may have a beneficial effect on the rest of the emotions they experienced on the course. Other local associations in the network model are argued to arise due to unmodeled latent variables. Future psychometric studies may benefit from combining network models and factor models in researching the structure of academic emotions.
  • Perander, Katarina; Londen, Monica; Holm, Gunilla (2020)
    Efforts to reach gender equality in education in Finland have been extensive. Both teacher education and policy documents for schools have focused on gender equality and gender-neutral treatment of students. The aim of this study is to explore if and how these efforts are manifested in upper secondary school teachers' and study counsellors' perceptions of students' self-belief, academic emotions, study habits and behaviour at school. Twenty-three interviews were conducted and analysed qualitatively through inductive content analysis. The results revealed that teachers and study counsellors perceive that girls' low self-belief and high achievement expectations affected their academic performance, while boys' insecurity or need for support was rarely mentioned. The teachers ascribed the students several gender-stereotypical attributes: girls were perceived as diligent and hard-working while boys were perceived as being indifferent towards school and achievements. The implications of these results for students' self-belief and for teacher education are discussed.
  • Laakasuo, Michael; Sundvall, Jukka (2016)
    Utilitarian versus deontological inclinations have been studied extensively in the field of moral psychology. However, the field has been lacking a thorough psychometric evaluation of the most commonly used measures. In this paper, we examine the factorial structure of an often used set of 12 moral dilemmas purportedly measuring utilitarian/deontological moral inclinations. We ran three different studies (and a pilot) to investigate the issue. In Study 1, we used standard Exploratory Factor Analysis and Schmid-Leimann (g factor) analysis; results of which informed the a priori single-factor model for our second study. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis in Study 2 were replicated in Study 3. Finally, we ran a weak invariance analysis between the models of Study 2 and 3, concluding that there is no significant difference between factor loading in these studies. We find reason to support a single-factor model of utilitarian/deontological inclinations. In addition, certain dilemmas have consistent error covariance, suggesting that this should be taken into consideration in future studies. In conclusion, three studies, pilot and an invariance analysis, systematically suggest the following. (1) No item needs to be dropped from the scale. (2) There is a unidimensional structure for utilitarian/deontological preferences behind the most often used dilemmas in moral psychology, suggesting a single latent cognitive mechanism. (3) The most common set of dilemmas in moral psychology can be successfully used as a unidimensional measure of utilitarian/deontological moral inclinations, but would benefit from using weighted averages over simple averages. (4) Consideration should be given to dilemmas describing infants.
  • Oksman, Elli; Rosenström, Tom; Gluschkoff, Kia; Saarinen, Aino; Hintsanen, Mirka; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli Tuomas; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa (2019)
    Sociability is a widely studied trait that has been linked both with individual well-and ill-being. Although early childcare has been shown to affect social competence in children, its role in the development of different aspects of adulthood sociability is poorly understood. Using a longitudinal population-based sample (N = 464), this study investigated whether childcare arrangements at ages 3 or 6 are associated with self-reported adulthood sociability at ages 20 to 35 years. A total of five aspects of sociability were measured using three well-established personality inventories (EAS, NEO-FFI, and TCI). Multilevel modeling was applied to examine the association between early care and adulthood sociability, adjusting for several sources of random variation (between-individual variance, within-individual variance between measurement times, variance between used sociability indicators, and error variance that cannot be attributed to the previously mentioned) and potential confounders (disruptive behavior in childhood, parental socio-economic status, parent-child relationship quality, maternal age, and the number of children in the family). Based on our results, in comparison to home care, family daycare and center-based daycare at age 3 and center-based daycare at age 6 were associated with higher sociability later in life. The association was strongest for aspects of sociability that emphasize the willingness to be surrounded by other people and to be attached to them. In other words, characteristics of early care may contribute uniquely to the development of these aspects of sociability with effects that persist into adult life
  • Eeroia, Tuomas; Vuoskoski, Jonna K.; Kautiainen, Hannu (2016)
    The paradox of enjoying listening to music that evokes sadness is yet to be fully understood. Unlike prior studies that have explored potential explanations related to lyrics, memories, and mood regulation, we investigated the types of emotions induced by unfamiliar, instrumental sad music, and whether these responses are consistently associated with certain individual difference variables. One hundred and two participants were drawn from a representative sample to minimize self-selection bias. The results suggest that the emotional responses induced by unfamiliar sad music could be characterized in terms of three underlying factors: Relaxing sadness, Moving sadness, and Nervous sadness. Relaxing sadness was characterized by felt and perceived peacefulness and positive valence. Moving sadness captured an intense experience that involved feelings of sadness and being moved. Nervous sadness was associated with felt anxiety, perceived scariness and negative valence. These interpretations were supported by indirect measures of felt emotion. Experiences of Moving sadness were strongly associated with high trait empathy and emotional contagion, but not with other previously suggested traits such as absorption or nostalgia-proneness. Relaxing sadness and Nervous sadness were not significantly predicted by any of the individual difference variables. The findings are interpreted within a theoretical framework of embodied emotions.
  • Saarinen, Aino I. L.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Honda, Yukiko; Oksman, Elli; Raitakari, Olli; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Hintsanen, Mirka (2020)
    This study investigated whether breastfeeding predicts offspring’s dispositional compassion and empathy from early adulthood to middle age. The parents of the participants (N = 1,394) of the Young Finns study answered questions about breastfeeding in 1983, and the participants’ compassion and empathy were evaluated in 1997‒2012 (participants were aged 20‒50 years). Breastfeeding did not predict the course of compassion or empathy in adulthood at the age of 20‒50 years. The associations remained non‐significant, when adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic factors, and a wide range of characteristics of the family environment (including mother’s gestational age; premature birth; birth weight; number of other children at home; parental mental disorder; parental relationship status; parental postnatal smoking; parental postnatal alcohol use; parenting behavior; and child’s externalizing behavior). In conclusion, breastfeeding seems not to predict offspring’s compassion or empathy in adulthood. The findings may present a hopeful perspective for children growing up with non‐breastfeeding caregivers.
  • Salonen, Milla; Vapalahti, Katariina; Tiira, Katriina; Mäki-Tanila, Asko; Lohi, Hannes (2019)
    Cat domestication and selective breeding have resulted in tens of breeds with major morphological differences. These breeds may also show distinctive behaviour differences; which, however, have been poorly studied. To improve the understanding of feline behaviour, we examined whether behavioural differences exist among cat breeds and whether behaviour is heritable. For these aims, we utilized our extensive health and behaviour questionnaire directed to cat owners and collected a survey data of 5726 cats. Firstly, for studying breed differences, we utilized logistic regression models with multiple environmental factors and discovered behaviour differences in 19 breeds and breed groups in ten different behaviour traits. Secondly, the studied cat breeds grouped into four clusters, with the Turkish Van and Angora cats alone forming one of them. These findings indicate that cat breeds have diverged not only morphologically but also behaviourally. Thirdly, we estimated heritability in three breeds and obtained moderate heritability estimates in seven studied traits, varying from 0.4 to 0.53, as well as phenotypic and genetic correlations for several trait pairs. Our results show that it is possible to partition the observed variation in behaviour traits into genetic and environmental components, and that substantial genetic variation exists within breed populations.
  • Tang, Xin; Wang, Ming-Te; Guo, Jiesi; Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2019)
    Despite academics' enthusiasm about the concept of grit (defined as consistency of interest and perseverance of effort), its benefit for academic achievement has recently been challenged. Drawing from a longitudinal sample (N=2018; 55.3% female; sixth-nineth grades) from Finland, this study first aimed to investigate and replicate the association between grit and achievement outcomes (i.e., academic achievement and engagement). Further, the present study examined whether growth mindset and goal commitment impacted grit and whether grit acted as a mediator between growth mindset, goal commitment, and achievement outcomes. The results showed that the perseverance facet of grit in the eighth grade was associated with school achievement and engagement in the nineth grade, after controlling for students' conscientiousness, academic persistence, prior achievement and engagement, gender and SES, although the effect on engagement was stronger than on achievement. In addition, grit was predicted by goal commitment in the sixth grade, but not by the growth mindset in the sixth grade. Finally, the perseverance of effort (not the consistency of interest) mediated the effect of goal commitment on engagement. These findings suggest that grit is associated with increased engagement and academic achievement; and practitioners who wish to improve grit of adolescents may encourage goal commitment more than growth mindset.
  • Veijalainen, Jouni; Reunamo, Jyrki; Sajaniemi, Nina; Suhonen, Eira (2019)
    Background: A large body of earlier research has focused on studying children's self-regulation (SR) skills and frustration with different methods. However, considerably less attention has been given to hearing children's own voice. The current study sought to demonstrate children's own comprehension and highlight it as a valuable and unique tendency to fill the scientific gap in the research area. Aim: This research aimed to contribute the empirical understanding of how SR, as mental ability, supported children's coping strategies and comprehensions which they will possibly use in a hypothetical frustrated context in the Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) environment. Setting: Self-regulation and strategies in a frustrating context were studied with mixed methods in a sample (n = 383) of 48-87-month-old children in Finland. Self-regulation was assessed by their own teachers with an evaluation form. The coping strategies of frustration were studied by interview where the children's open-ended descriptions provided the strategies told by themselves. Methods: The study's was conducted by using mixed methods. Two independent instruments to measure SR and strategies for frustration were used. Self-regulation was assessed by teacher with an evaluation form. The coping strategies of frustration were studied via child interview. Results: Good SR skills were related to persistent coping strategies and not giving up in a simulated situation. Weak SR skills related more with uncertain or withdrawal coping strategies, like giving up, or abandoning the situation. Conclusion: Self-regulation skills have an important role in guiding children with their use and narration of suitable coping strategies on overcoming the frustration effectively. The concrete strategies would allow teachers to work concretely with children in enhancing their SR skills and coping strategies further.
  • Culina, Antica; Adriaensen, Frank; Bailey, Liam D.; Burgess, Malcolm D.; Charmantier, Anne; Cole, Ella F.; Eeva, Tapio; Matthysen, Erik; Nater, Chloe R.; Sheldon, Ben C.; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Vriend, Stefan J. G.; Zajkova, Zuzana; Adamik, Peter; Aplin, Lucy M.; Angulo, Elena; Artemyev, Alexandr; Barba, Emilio; Barisic, Sanja; Belda, Eduardo; Bilgin, Cemal Can; Bleu, Josefa; Both, Christiaan; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Branston, Claire J.; Broggi, Juli; Burke, Terry; Bushuev, Andrey; Camacho, Carlos; Campobello, Daniela; Canal, David; Cantarero, Alejandro; Caro, Samuel P.; Cauchoix, Maxime; Chaine, Alexis; Cichon, Mariusz; Cikovic, Davor; Cusimano, Camillo A.; Deimel, Caroline; Dhondt, Andre A.; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Doligez, Blandine; Dominoni, Davide M.; Doutrelant, Claire; Drobniak, Szymon M.; Dubiec, Anna; Eens, Marcel; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Espin, Silvia; Farine, Damien R.; Figuerola, Jordi; Gulbeyaz, Pinar Kavak; Gregoire, Arnaud; Hartley, Ian R.; Hau, Michaela; Hegyi, Gergely; Hille, Sabine; Hinde, Camilla A.; Holtmann, Benedikt; Ilyina, Tatyana; Isaksson, Caroline; Iserbyt, Arne; Ivankina, Elena; Kania, Wojciech; Kempenaers, Bart; Kerimov, Anvar; Komdeur, Jan; Korsten, Peter; Kral, Miroslav; Krist, Milos; Lambrechts, Marcel; Lara, Carlos E.; Leivits, Agu; Liker, Andras; Lodjak, Jaanis; Magi, Marko; Mainwaring, Mark C.; Mand, Raivo; Massa, Bruno; Massemin, Sylvie; Martinez-Padilla, Jesus; Mazgajski, Tomasz D.; Mennerat, Adele; Moreno, Juan; Mouchet, Alexia; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Nilsson, Jan-Ake; Nilsson, Johan F.; Norte, Ana Claudia; van Oers, Kees; Orell, Markku; Potti, Jaime; Quinn, John L.; Reale, Denis; Reiertsen, Tone Kristin; Rosivall, Balazs; Russell, Andrew F.; Rytkonen, Seppo; Sanchez-Virosta, Pablo; Santos, Eduardo S. A.; Schroeder, Julia; Senar, Juan Carlos; Seress, Gabor; Slagsvold, Tore; Szulkin, Marta; Teplitsky, Celine; Tilgar, Vallo; Tolstoguzov, Andrey; Torok, Janos; Valcu, Mihai; Vatka, Emma; Verhulst, Simon; Watson, Hannah; Yuta, Teru; Zamora-Marin, Jose M.; Visser, Marcel E. (2021)
    The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long-term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the wild. Furthermore, their number and global distribution provides a unique opportunity to assess the generality of patterns and to address broad-scale global issues (e.g. climate change). To solve data integration issues and enable a new scale of ecological and evolutionary research based on long-term studies of birds, we have created the SPI-Birds Network and Database ()-a large-scale initiative that connects data from, and researchers working on, studies of wild populations of individually recognizable (usually ringed) birds. Within year and a half since the establishment, SPI-Birds has recruited over 120 members, and currently hosts data on almost 1.5 million individual birds collected in 80 populations over 2,000 cumulative years, and counting. SPI-Birds acts as a data hub and a catalogue of studied populations. It prevents data loss, secures easy data finding, use and integration and thus facilitates collaboration and synthesis. We provide community-derived data and meta-data standards and improve data integrity guided by the principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR), and aligned with the existing metadata languages (e.g. ecological meta-data language). The encouraging community involvement stems from SPI-Bird's decentralized approach: research groups retain full control over data use and their way of data management, while SPI-Birds creates tailored pipelines to convert each unique data format into a standard format. We outline the lessons learned, so that other communities (e.g. those working on other taxa) can adapt our successful model. Creating community-specific hubs (such as ours, COMADRE for animal demography, etc.) will aid much-needed large-scale ecological data integration.
  • Oksanen, Atte; Oksa, Reetta; Savela, Nina; Mantere, Eerik; Savolainen, Iina; Kaakinen, Markus (2021)
    The global crisis caused by the outbreak of a novel coronavirus and the associated disease (COVID-19) has changed working conditions due to social-distancing policies. Many workers started to use new technologies at work, including social media applications. In this longitudinal study, we investigated the potential stress effects of social media communication (SMC) at work. Based on our integrative theoretical model, we expected that SMC at work would burden some workers, but those who were accustomed to SMC at work would be better off when the crisis started. We collected a nationally representative sample of Finnish workers before (N = 1308) and during (N = 1081) the COVID-19 crisis. Outcome measures included technostress and work exhaustion. Multilevel linear mixed-effects regression models investigated formal and informal SMC at work. Covariates included cyberbullying at work, social media usage, personality, occupational status, and sociodemographic factors. Results showed that formal SMC increased and predicted higher technostress. However, technostress and work exhaustion decreased among workers already accustomed to using SMC at work before the crisis. The results indicate a disparity in workers' resilience during remote work and highlight a need for organizational level support.
  • Yang, Xiaolin; Kaseva, Kaisa; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Hirvensalo, Mirja; Jokela, Markus; Hintsanen, Mirka; Hintsa, Taina; Kankaanpää, Anna; Telama, Risto; Hutri-Kahonen, Nina; Viikari, Jorma S. A.; Raitakari, Olli T.; Tammelin, Tuija (2017)
    We examined associations between childhood temperamental activity, physical activity (PA), and television (TV) viewing over a 30-year period. The participants (1220 boys and 1237 girls) were aged 3, 6, 9, and 12 years in 1980 and were followed until 2011. Temperamental activity was evaluated by participants' mothers at baseline. The PA was assessed based on maternal ratings of the child from ages 3 to 6 and via self-report age from the age of 9 across all measurements. TV viewing was assessed using self-reports taken from 2001 to 2011. The associations between temperamental activity and the level and change of PA and TV viewing were determined using linear growth modeling stratified by gender and age group. High temperamental activity assessed from ages 9 to 12 was associated with high levels of childhood PA in both genders, but with a steeper decline in PA levels during the first 9 years of follow-up in boys. High temperamental activity assessed from ages 3 to 6 was associated with the decline of PA from childhood to youth in girls. High childhood temperamental activity was associated with decreased levels of PA in adulthood in men, but not in women. The associations between childhood temperamental activity and TV viewing during adulthood seemed to be positive but not consistently significant in all age and gender groups. High temperamental activity may contribute to the development of a physically inactive lifestyle. More evidence is needed with regard to gender differences among participants in similar study settings.
  • Saarinen, Aino I. L.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Hintsa, Taina; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Ravaja, Niklas; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli; Hintsanen, Mirka (2020)
    Background This study investigated (i) whether compassion is associated with blood pressure or hypertension in adulthood and (ii) whether familial risk for hypertension modifies these associations. Method The participants (N = 1112-1293) came from the prospective Young Finns Study. Parental hypertension was assessed in 1983-2007; participants' blood pressure in 2001, 2007, and 2011; hypertension in 2007 and 2011 (participants were aged 30-49 years in 2007-2011); and compassion in 2001. Results High compassion predicted lower levels of diastolic and systolic blood pressure in adulthood. Additionally, high compassion was related to lower risk for hypertension in adulthood among individuals with no familial risk for hypertension (independently of age, sex, participants' and their parents' socioeconomic factors, and participants' health behaviors). Compassion was not related to hypertension in adulthood among individuals with familial risk for hypertension. Conclusion High compassion predicts lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure in adulthood. Moreover, high compassion may protect against hypertension among individuals without familial risk for hypertension. As our sample consisted of comparatively young participants, our findings provide novel implications for especially early-onset hypertension.
  • Leikas, Sointu; Kuula, Liisa; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina (2021)
    Experience sampling studies have shown that people act out of character a lot of the time. These findings have raised the question of potential costs of counter-habitual behavior. The present experience sampling study (N = 242; measurement occasions = 4342) tested, for five behavioral dimensions derived from the Big Five theory, whether self-reported counter-habitual behavior is related to psychological costs in everyday life. The results mostly supported the view that engaging in desirable counter-habitual behaviors is beneficial, though some evidence for counter-habitual costs was found for self-control. Overall, the results suggest that the state-content significance hypothesis better accounts for everyday life behavioral, affective, and self-regulatory processes than the views highlighting the importance of acting according to one's "true self" (C) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
  • Veijalainen, Jouni; Reunamo, Jyrki; Heikkilä, Minna (2021)
    This paper aims to determine possible gender differences in children’s observed emotional expressions and their relationship with teacher-rated self-regulation (SR) skills in the setting of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Supporting SR and emotional wellbeing in early childhood can be considered a favourable pathway towards holistic development (e.g. Shonkoff et al. [2012]. The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232–e246; Bagdi & Vacca [2005]. Supporting early childhood social-emotional well being: The building blocks for early learning and school success. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(3), 145–150). The participants included 1213 (44.2%) boys and 1075 (41.0%) girls which were 13–83 months old. The SR data was collected through an evaluation instrument. Emotional expressions (N = 50480) were observed with an independent instrument. The results indicated how girls were observed to have more neutral, calm or peaceful-related emotional expressions, while boys tended to express more surprise, curiosity, anger or frustration-related emotions. Boys’ and girls’ ability for SR was related to their emotional expressions. Boys’ and girls’ SR skills had the same tendency in weak, moderate and good SR categories.
  • Tiira, Katriina; Lohi, Hannes (2015)
    Personality and anxiety disorders across species are affected by genetic and environmental factors. Shyness-boldness personality continuum exists across species, including the domestic dog, with a large within-and across-breed variation. Domestic dogs are also diagnosed for several anxiety-related behavioral conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorders, phobias, and separation anxiety. Genetic and environmental factors contributing to personality and anxiety are largely unknown. We collected questionnaire data from a Finnish family dog population (N = 3264) in order to study the associating environmental factors for canine fearfulness, noise sensitivity, and separation anxiety. Early life experiences and exercise were found to associate with anxiety prevalence. We found that fearful dogs had less socialization experiences (p = 0.002) and lower quality of maternal care (p <0.0001) during puppyhood. Surprisingly, the largest environmental factor associating with noise sensitivity (p <0.0001) and separation anxiety (p = 0.007) was the amount of daily exercise; dogs with noise sensitivity and separation anxiety had less daily exercise. Our findings suggest that dogs share many of the same environmental factors that contribute to anxiety in other species as well, such as humans and rodents. Our study highlights the importance of early life experiences, especially the quality of maternal care and daily exercise for the welfare and management of the dogs, and reveals important confounding factors to be considered in the genetic characterization of canine anxiety.
  • Class, Barbara; Kluen, Edward; Brommer, Jon E. (2014)
    Behavioral differences between individuals that are consistent over time characterize animal personality. The existence of such consistency contrasts to the expectation based on classical behavioral theory that facultative behavior maximizes individual fitness. Here, we study two personality traits (aggression and breath rate during handling) in a wild population of blue tits during 2007– 2012. Handling aggression and breath rate were moderately heritable (h2 = 0.35 and 0.20, respectively) and not genetically correlated (rA = 0.06) in adult blue tits, which permits them to evolve independently. Reciprocal cross-fostering (2007–2010) showed that offspring reared by more aggressive males have a higher probability to recruit. In addition, offspring reared by pairs mated assortatively for handling aggression had a higher recruitment probability, which is the first evidence that both parents’ personalities influence their reproductive success in the wild in a manner independent of their genetic effects. Handling aggression was not subjected to survival selection in either sex, but slow-breathing females had a higher annual probability of survival as revealed by capture–mark–recapture analysis. We find no evidence for temporal fluctuations in selection, and thus conclude that directional selection (via different fitness components) acts on these two heritable personality traits. Our findings show that blue tit personality has predictable fitness consequences, but that facultative adjustment of an individual’s personality to match the fitness maximum is likely constrained by the genetic architecture of personality. In the face of directional selection, the presence of heritable variation in personality suggests the existence of a trade-off that we have not identified yet.