Temperament/Animal Personality

Kerry C. Michael, Sonia A. Cavigelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In humans, the relationship between personality and immunity is an important area of inquiry to better understand mechanisms underlying the diversity of human health and illness trajectories (Segerstrom, 2000; Cohen, this volume). A recent complement to our understanding of human behavior/personality and immune function has been the study of animal immune function as it relates to individual behavioral traits (temperament, personality; Koolhaas et al., 1999; Cavigelli, 2005; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005; Capitanio, 2008). With ample evidence that reliable and stable individual behavioral differences exist in animals and that these differences seem to mimic certain human behavioral traits, we are suddenly afforded a variety of organisms in which to study universal relationships between personality and immune function. The use of animal models additionally allows for a range and depth of evolutionary, developmental, functional and mechanistic investigations that are not possible with humans. We review the utility of animal models in understanding the relationship between personality and immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199971190
ISBN (Print)9780195394399
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Animal
  • Disease
  • Health
  • Immune function
  • Personality
  • Temperament


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