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Data from: Personality remains: no effect of 3-week social status experience on personality in male fowl

Citation

Favati, Anna et al. (2017), Data from: Personality remains: no effect of 3-week social status experience on personality in male fowl, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8b8d1

Abstract

Individuals often differ in behavior in a consistent way, i.e. show variation in personality. Understanding the processes explaining the emergence and maintenance of this variation is a major topic in the field of animal behavioral research. Recent theoretical models predict that differences in various 'states' can generate individual variation in behavior. Previous studies have mainly focused on endogenous states like metabolic rate or energy reserves, but theory also suggests that states based on social interactions could play important roles in shaping personality. We have earlier demonstrated short-term status-dependent variation in behavior in the domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus), but whether such behavioral variation remains also after a longer period of time, is unknown. Therefore, we examine the influence of social status on variation in behavior, using experimental manipulation of social status in pairs of male domestic fowl. We scored males in three personality assays (novel arena test, novel object test aggression test) before and after three weeks in pairs as either dominant or subordinate. We observed individual consistency of behavior despite alteration of social status. We further found no support for social status acting as a state that generates variation in personality over the used time interval: social status had no significant effect on the change in behavioral responses between repeated personality tests. Our results suggest that personality is more important than current social situation for describing individual behavior in stable groups.

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