Using methods adapted from studying human personality, keepers, volunteers, researchers and other caretakers gauged 298 individual gorillas‘ temperaments. These gorillas were followed over 18 years and their life spans recorded. The results revealed the the more sociable, active, playful and curious the gorilla, the longer it was likely to live.
The results are consistent with studies finding that human extroverts outlive introverts, too, study researcher Alex Weiss of the University of Edinburgh said in a statement.
“These findings highlight how understanding the natural history of personality is vital to ensuring the continued health and well-being of humans, gorillas and other great apes,” Weiss said.
Studies of centenarians â€” people who live to be 100 or more â€” have found that positive, outgoing people seem more likely to hit the century mark. A study published in May 2012 surveyed 243 centenarians and found most to be outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. These personality traits may arise from underlying genetics, which also influence health, the researchers told LiveScience when the study came out.