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Being sociable will help you live longer, gorilla study suggests

A new study on gorillas suggests that being extrovert will help you live longer. Picture: Getty

A new study on gorillas suggests that being extrovert will help you live longer. Picture: Getty

  • by JULIA HORTON
 

BEING extrovert may help you live longer, a new study of gorilla behaviour by Scottish scientists published today suggests.

• Being an extrovert can lead to a longer life, results of a new study on gorillas suggest

• Extroversian may be a “buffer against stress and anxiety”, researchers say

An international study led by Edinburgh University studied nearly 300 gorillas at zoos and sanctuaries in America over 18 years, assessing four personality traits - dominance, extroversion, neuroticism and agreeableness.

They found that only extroversion was linked to longevity, with more sociable gorillas living an average of 30 per cent longer than those which didn’t interact with group-mates.

Experts believe that extroversion may increase lifespan by acting as a “buffer against stress and anxiety”, something which may also be true for people.

Dr Alex Weiss, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said: “It may be that extroversion at any point in the lifespan is a good marker for health and well-being - that it’s a good predictor over a long period of time.

“It is also possible that extroversion may be a buffer against stress and anxiety.”

He added: “One can possibly suggest that there may be a similar underlying mechanism that leads from extroversion to longevity in humans.”

Previous studies of humans have found that people who are more outgoing also tend to enjoy a longer life.

 

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