Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica),   Dec. 2010, 56(6): 728 - 740
Title: Covariation between personalities and individual differences in coping with stress: Converging evidence and hypotheses
Authors: Claudio CARERE, Doretta CARAMASCHI, Tim W. FAWCETT
 D i p a r t i m e n t o   d i   E c o l o g i a   e   S v i l u p p o   E c o n o m i c o   S o s t e n i b i l e ,   U n i v e r s i t à   d e l l a   T u s c i a ,   L a r g o   d e l l ’ U n i v e r s i t à   s . n . c .   0 1 1 0 0   V i t e r b o ,   I t a l y 

In the past decade there has been a profusion of studies highlighting covariation between individual differences in stress physiology and behavioural profiles, here called personalities. Such individual differences in ways of coping with stress are relevant both in biomedicine, since different personalities may experience a different stress and disease vulnerability, and in behavioural ecology, since their adaptive value and evolutionary maintenance are the subject of debate. However, the precise way in which individual stress differences and personalities are linked is unclear. Here we provide an updated overview of this covariation across different species and taxa, consider its functional significance and present working hypotheses for how behavioural and physiological responses to stress might be causally linked, affecting life-history traits such as dispersal and life-span [Current Zoology 56 (6): 728–740, 2010].

Keywords: Animal personality, Coping style, Agression, Stress response, Corticosterone, Glucocorticoids, Natural selection, Fitness evolution

*Correspondence should be addressed to Claudio CARERE (

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