March 2, 2005
Birds with Personality
I recently read an article in the New York Times about some Dutch researchers who are studying birds in an attempt to indirectly see how personality has evolved in humans. The idea is that the researchers have measured and selectively bred "boldness" and "shyness" into new generations of birds. They say that there is a significant difference between the behavior of the "bold" and "shy" birds. If you read the article, it talks about how the relative boldness and shyness of birds has been beneficial in certain situations, explaining why neither trait has pushed the other out over centuries of living. The researchers hope to make similar conclusions about humans and our personalities. I'm still not sold on the similarity between human and bird personality (they're studying the "Great Tit" birds of Europe, probably so they can say to all of their nerdy scientist buddies, "hey look, we're studying tits".....crazy Dutch)
The article's a pretty interesting read if you have a few minutes free
P.S. "Why is it that the only time you hear about a figment it has to do with the imagination? Are there any other types of figments?"