Dolphins And Humans Have Similar Personalities

Posted on August 26th 2021

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Research has discovered that dolphins develop similar personality traits to humans despite living in very different environments.

Dolphin Personality Assessment

The study, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, looked at 134 male and female bottlenose dolphins from eight locations around the world. Each dolphin’s personality was assessed by a researcher within each location. The results show that there is similarity of certain traits such as curiosity and sociability.

The research has led to an understanding of how personality traits can develop regardless of environment. The fact that dolphins and humans can develop similar personality traits despite different habitats is remarkable.

Highly Intelligent

The University of Hull in the UK was central to the study. Dr Blake Morton from the University pointed out that dolphins are ideal for a study of this kind because like primates they are intelligent and social. Their brains are larger and more capable than the basic requirements of their bodily functions. This excess brain matter is what makes certain animals stand out for their intelligence.

The study indicates that humans have five common traits regardless of environment. These are listed as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. These traits have been researched many times within primates but this study was the first of its kind in terms of looking at an intelligent animal within a very different environment.

Understanding Human Behaviour

Although these five traits have been listed as common to all humans, it is not known why our behaviour comes down to them. Looking at other intelligent lifeforms in different environments may hold some answers.

No one has studied dolphin personalities in this way before. The study showed some interesting findings but the researchers were keen to point out that although there is a link to human personality traits, they are only similar and not identical. Not all human and dolphin traits are the same, but key to the research is that some are. Further research may well unlock additional insight in to the understanding of why we share these common behavioural traits.

If you would like to find out about supporting conservation efforts for dolphins then please visit our Adopt a Dolphin page.


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