Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Social groups with diverse personalities mitigate physiological stress in a songbird

Citation

Vágási, Csongor I. et al. (2021), Social groups with diverse personalities mitigate physiological stress in a songbird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.08kprr51z

Abstract

Social groups often consist of diverse phenotypes, including personality types, and this diversity is known to affect the functioning of the group as a whole. Social selection theory proposes that group composition (i.e. social environment) also influences the performance of individual group members. However, the effect of group behavioural composition on group members remains largely unexplored, and it is still contentious whether individuals benefit more in a social environment with homogeneous or diverse behavioural composition. We experimentally formed groups of house sparrows Passer domesticus with high and low diversity of personality (exploratory behaviour), and found that their physiological state (body condition, physiological stress and oxidative damage) improved with increasing group-level diversity of personality. These findings demonstrate that group personality composition affects the condition of group members and individuals benefit from social heterosis (i.e. associating with a diverse set of behavioural types). This aspect of social life can play a key role in affiliation rules of social animals and might explain the evolutionary coexistence of different personalities in nature.

Funding

Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovaciós Alap, Award: K112527

Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovaciós Alap, Award: K113108

Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Posztdoktori Ösztöndíj

Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovaciós Alap, Award: PD121166

Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma, Award: ÚNKP-16-3-IV

Magyar Tudományos Akadémia János Bolyai Ösztöndíj

Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium, Award: TKP2020-IKA-04

Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Posztdoktori Ösztöndíj

Magyar Tudományos Akadémia János Bolyai Ösztöndíj