Temperament/Animal Personality

Kerry C. Michael and Sonia A. Cavigelli

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394399
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Temperament/Animal Personality

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In humans, the relationship between personality and immunity is an important area of inquiry to better understand mechanisms underlying the diversity of human health and illness trajectories (Segerstrom, 2000; Cohen, this volume). A recent complement to our understanding of human behavior/personality and immune function has been the study of animal immune function as it relates to individual behavioral traits (temperament, personality; Koolhaas et al., 1999; Cavigelli, 2005; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005; Capitanio, 2008). With ample evidence that reliable and stable individual behavioral differences exist in animals and that these differences seem to mimic certain human behavioral traits, we are suddenly afforded a variety of organisms in which to study universal relationships between personality and immune function. The use of animal models additionally allows for a range and depth of evolutionary, developmental, functional and mechanistic investigations that are not possible with humans. We review the utility of animal models in understanding the relationship between personality and immune function.

Keywords: animal; personality; temperament; immune function; disease; health

Article.  13113 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Social Psychology

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