Populations and personalities.

The question of personality in nonhuman animals has loomed large in the study of animal behavior. This issue’s featured article assessed the possibility that different environments generate different patterns of personality. Roy and Bhat (2018) studied common measures of personality in two populations of wild zebrafish, Danio rerio. Roy and Bhat’s studies support the hypothesis that personality will depend in part on the populations being studied and the environmental variation experienced by individuals in those populations. Populations differing in their exposure to predation should be expected to differ in their propensity to engage in risky behavior (like foraging or courtship) in the context of cues and signals of predators. Beyond this important finding, though, Roy and Bhat (2018) found that higher, as opposed to lower, predation pressure seems to be associated with lower levels of intra- and interindividual variability in boldness-related behavior. Key next steps proposed by the authors include experimental studies aimed at determining the individual effects of variation in predation, water-flow, and food resources on boldness and aggression in these populations, including multiple generations and replicates of each sampled population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)