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Which personality dimensions do puppy tests measure. A systematic procedure for categorizing behavioral assays.
With the recent increase in interest in personality in dogs, behavioral assays of their behavior have proliferated. There has been particularly strong interest in predicting adult behavior from puppy tests.
As a result, researchers and practitioners seeking to measure personality in puppies are faced with bewildering array of options and no clear guide as to what behavioral assays have been developed or which personality dimensions those assays measure effectively.
To address this issue, we used an ‘expert-categorization’ procedure; a standardized method often used in the course of meta-analyses to identify the subset of those assays consensually judged to measure major personality dimensions effectively. We used this procedure to identify all relevant puppy tests and to categorize them interms of their ability to measure nine personality dimensions entiﬁed in previous research; activity, aggressiveness, boldness/self-assuredness, exploration, fearfulness/nervousness, reactivity, sociability, submissiveness, trainability/responsiveness.
Speciﬁcally, we identiﬁed 264 assay subtests, derived from 47 studies, which were subjected to a standardized categorization procedure under taken independently by six expert judges. These procedures yielded a set of behavioral tests judged to measure the nine dimensions effectively and also demonstrated a widely applicable methodfor developing and evaluating behavioral test batteries.
Monica E. McGarrity*/** , David L. Sinn*/*** , Samuel D. Gosling*
* University of Texas at Austin, Department of Psychology, 108E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000, Austin, TX78712-1043, USA
** Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin TX78744, USA
*** University of Tasmania,School of Biological Sciences, Private Bag 5, Hobart, TAS7001, Australia