Cockroaches Have Personalities That Effect Group “Decision Making”

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Animal studies, including bugs, debunk cognitive scientists, social scientists and humanists arguments for human exceptionalism in thinking and behavior.  In fact, there is no evidence for cognition in behavior and more and more against it.

“…a team of scientists has not only found evidence that {cockroaches} have personalities, but also discovered that when cockroaches get together, they create a group personality. The group personalities of cockroaches vary, too.

“A lot of studies show personality in other invertebrates…But no one had looked at the American cockroach.”…analysis showed that like other species, from spiders to lions, these cockroaches had shy and bold individuals. The shy roaches ran for cover as soon as they entered the arena, whereas bold individuals spent more time exploring…

Despite these individual personality differences, by the end of each experiment the groups always ended up crowded together beneath the same shelter. “There is a collective dynamic—a social influence—that dilutes the individual personality differences. So in the group, you end up with a similar behavior in everyone.” This conformity happens even though the researchers know, based on previous experiments, that some cockroaches when left alone in the arena never dash to a shelter, whereas others spend only a short amount of time beneath one. Yet they change their behaviors as soon as they’re in a group.“

The team’s discovery that “the collective outcome [the group personality] is different from the sum of the personalities is very cool…It implies that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

“…they’ve shown that individuals and their personalities matter even in simple animals.” Yes, even in cockroaches.

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One thought on “Cockroaches Have Personalities That Effect Group “Decision Making”

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