An article published last week by the Huffington Post reported on new research on the personalities of chimpanzees, conducted by an international team of researchers. The conclusion: chimpanzees and orangutans do share personality traits with humans.
The writer explains that to date some scientists are still challenging to the notion that suggests once again that other researchers are engaging in anthropomorphism, merely wishing human qualities on animals. But the naysayers seem to consistently overlook the fact that individual personalities and emotions can be shared by humans and animals.
So we are not at all engaging in anthropomorphism when we see emotion and personality in beings from apes to dogs to cats. The fact is, some of these qualities of self-awareness are shared. I fear some of these other scientists are putting up a wall to any new findings that show this, because they can’t bring themselves to come to the conclusion – for whatever reasoning.
From the article: “(Jane) Goodall’s impressions of the human-like personalities of the chimpanzees she studied reflected the chimpanzees’ individual behavioral differences,” the researchers wrote in their study.
We now know this is true for other animals, such as dogs and cats. We’ve personally adopted enough basset hounds and greyhounds, for example, to know that dogs within the same particular breed have their own, distinct personalities and self.