For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. As a child, I filled endless notebooks with my stories. They were mostly stories about animals, or thinly veiled replicas of Lord of the Rings. I may even have tried my hand at the odd love Read more…
Interestingly enough after last week’s post there is a brilliant article in the BBC magazine about doctors and their understanding of statistics. Gerd Gigerenzer is one of those names in statistics I trust. His discussion of risk is fascinating. Take the example mentioned in the article: As a doctor, you Read more…
A few weeks ago I was swearing at my computer and had to go buy a Twix bar from the canteen to calm myself. There was some frantic chocolate scoffing that afternoon. The source of my irritation? Statistics. I am not a great wielder of statistical power, but I am Read more…
One of my all time favourite topics is that of animal personality. In fact my PhD was centred around animal personality, using some nifty new technology to explore the phenomenon. Most of my papers are about how personality affects the lives of cows.
Don’t laugh. That’s genuinely what my PhD is in.
There are actually plenty of production and welfare reasons to study this in cattle, but today I want to talk to you about one of the basic concepts of personality.
Let’s Talk Science
You’ve heard people talk about personality traits or dimensions (I’ll use traits for the rest of this article), but what do you know about personality traits? I’m going to give you a very complicated sciency sounding sentence here, and by the end of this article, I think you’ll understand it.
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Personality traits are a statistical construct based on the behavioural variation displayed number of individuals sampled.
Let me explain . . .