It is often assumed that measures of temperament within individuals are more correlated to one another than to measures of problem solving. However, the exact relationship between temperament and problem-solving tasks remains unclear because large-scale studies have typically focused on each independently. To explore this relationship, we tested 119 prospective adolescent guide dogs on a battery of 11 temperament and problem-solving tasks. We then summarized the data using both confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory principal components analysis. Results of confirmatory analysis revealed that a priori separation of tests as measuring either temperament or problem solving led to weak results, poor model fit, some construct validity, and no predictive validity. In contrast, results of exploratory analysis were best summarized by principal components that mixed temperament and problem-solving traits. These components had both construct and predictive validity (i.e., association with success in the guide dog training program). We conclude that there is complex interplay between tasks of “temperament” and “problem solving” and that the study of both together will be more informative than approaches that consider either in isolation.
Animal Cognition – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2017
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