Personality assessment in the gorilla and its utility as a management tool

Author: Gold, Kenneth C.; Maple, Terry L.

Description: Goals of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) include increased captive propagation, maintenance of genetic diversity, and consideration of the psychological well-being of the population. The SSP Propagation Group has attempted to accomplish these goals through recommendations based on assessment of genetic, behavioral, and demographic variables. A need is recognized for the development of a methodology to assess behavioral variables that contribute to the success of animal moves. Personality profiles have been used in the past to aid animal management decisions in laboratory settings. This paper describes personality assessment techniques, reviews historical perspectives on primate personality assessment, and reports on a study to assess gorilla personality. The Gorilla Behavior Index (GBI), a subjective assessment instrument consisting of behaviorally based adjectives, was completed for 298 of 303 captive gorillas over 1 year of age. The results were subjected to common factor analysis, resulting in the identification of four main factors: extroverted, dominant, fearful, and understanding. Frequency distributions were calculated illustrating the ranges of each factor. Potential management uses for the GBI scores are discussed.

Subject headings: Behavior; Subjective assessment; Captive management; Personality assessment; Gorilla

Publication year: 1994

Journal or book title: Zoo Biology

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 509-522

Find the full text:

Find more like this one (cited by):,16&hl=en

Serial number: 3176

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.