Tommy Radesäter

Tommy Radesäter

Professor emeritus

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Works at Department of Zoology
Visiting address Svante Arrheniusväg 18 B
Postal address Zoologiska institutionen: Etologi 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2014. Anna Favati (et al.). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences 281 (1774)

    Stability of 'state' has been suggested as an underlying factor explaining behavioural stability and animal personality (i.e. variation among, and consistency within individuals in behavioural responses), but the possibility that stable social relationships represent such states remains unexplored. Here, we investigated the influence of social status on the expression and consistency of behaviours by experimentally changing social status between repeated personality assays. We used male domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus), a social species that forms relatively stable dominance hierarchies, and showed that behavioural responses were strongly affected by social status, but also by individual characteristics. The level of vigilance, activity and exploration changed with social status, whereas boldness appeared as a stable individual property, independent of status. Furthermore, variation in vocalization predicted future social status, indicating that individual behaviours can both be a predictor and a consequence of social status, depending on the aspect in focus. Our results illustrate that social states contribute to both variation and stability in behavioural responses, and should therefore be taken into account when investigating and interpreting variation in personality.

  • 2005. Kenth Svartberg (et al.). Animal Behaviour 69 (2), 283-291

    We investigated the consistency of behaviour over repeated tests in dogs, Canis familiaris. Dogs were tested three times, with an average of 30 and 35 days between tests. The behavioural test used in the study included 10 subtests that exposed dogs to various situations, such as the appearance of an unfamiliar person, play, preylike objects, metallic noise and a suddenly appearing dummy. Studies using the same test with many dogs have revealed five specific personality traits, labelled Playfulness, Chase-proneness, Curiosity/Fearlessness, Sociability and Aggressiveness, and one higher-order, broader dimension, interpreted as a shyness–boldness continuum. We used these traits in the present study. We found significant correlations over the test series in all the specific traits as well as in the Boldness dimension. The magnitude of trait scores for Playfulness, Chase-proneness and Sociability, as well as for the Boldness dimension, was stable between tests. The scores for Aggressiveness and Curiosity/Fearlessness, however, differed between the first two tests: the intensity of behaviour related to fear and aggression decreased from test 1 to test 2, but the intensity of exploratory behaviour increased. This result indicates that these two traits in dogs are sensitive to novelty, although individual differences are also maintained in nonnovel situations. The results suggest that playful, social, exploratory, avoidant and aggressive behaviour in dogs is influenced by stable dispositions; i.e. personality traits, that seem to have been important during the evolution of the domestic dog

Show all publications by Tommy Radesäter at Stockholm University

Last updated: September 19, 2017

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