There are two kinds of chimpanzees in this world: 1) those that act aggressive toward others to assert their dominance over the rest of the troop, and 2) those that are good-natured and kind toward others. That said, if you could transform into a chimp, which group would you want to identify with?
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Citing a paper published this week in the journal eLife by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, courteous male chimps live longer and more meaningful lives than their assertive and unpleasant counterparts.
The researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing survival statistics involving more than 538 captive chimpanzees from research facilities, sanctuaries, and zoos around the globe in an effort to learn more about how their personalities impacted their longevity.
In addition to this crucial finding, the researchers also took note of another particularly fascinating detail: extraversion had little or no impact on chimpanzee lifespan, while separate studies have shown contrasting results in other non-human primates.
On the other hand, conscientiousness and neuroticism have been correspondingly linked to longer and shorter lives in humans, which implies that humans could have more in common with chimpanzees than initially thought.
“Studying the personality of chimps – one of our closest biological relatives – suggests that the quality of our social relationships can significantly impact our lives,” explained study lead author Drew Altschul.
Chimpanzees that went with the flow rather than resisting lifestyle changes were among those that lived long lives. The findings were evident in both male and female chimpanzees, indicating how evolution may have favored those that readily embraced the dynamics of life.
If humans have as much in common with chimpanzees as science suggests, then humans could potentially live better lives if they embraced change and positive emotions rather than being selfish and challenging to get along with.
The verdict shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise to anyone reading this, but it’s indeed captivating to see similar trends in another species, albeit closely-related to humans.