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How many dimensions are needed to describe temperament in animals: A factor reanalysis of two data sets

By Dr. Sergey Budaev


Factor analysis has commonly been used to infer the dimensions of animal temperament. However, the results were often complicated by large number of broad and situation-specific factors caused by low psychometric adequacy of the correlation matrices, undermining the assumptions of factor analysis. In this study I reanalyzed the data sets obtained by Royce, Poley & Yeudall (1973) and Gervai & Csányi (1985) including, however, only the variables with high correlations (multiple R2>0.3) and psychometric adequacies (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure>0.5). This yielded more stable and simpler factor solutions than in the original studies. Specifically, even though the present reanalysis cannot rule out the existence of other temperament factors, it indicates that two general dimensions, Activity-Exploration and Fear-Avoidance, are present in such diverse species as mice and the paradise fish

Topics: Comparative Psychology, Animal Behavior
Publisher: International Society of Comparative Psychology
Year: 1998
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