Individual differences in temperament and behavioral management practices for nonhuman primates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Effective behavioral management plans are tailored to the unique behavioral patterns of each individual species. However, even within a species behavioral needs of individuals can vary. Factors such as age, sex, and temperament can affect behavioral needs of individuals. While some of these factors, such as age and sex, are taken into account, other factors, such as an individual's temperament, are rarely specifically provided for in behavioral management plans. However, temperament may affect how animals respond to socialization, positive reinforcement training and other forms of enrichment. This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict the outcome of social introductions. It can also predict which animals may be difficult to train using traditional methods. Further, knowledge of temperament may help us identify individuals at risk for development of behavioral problems. Taken together, understanding individual differences in temperament of captive primates can help guide behavioral management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Enrichment
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Personality
  • Positive reinforcement training
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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