Jan 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Birds, Bees, Other Animals Shows Morality, Conscientiousness According To Study

May 25, 2017 06:01 AM EDT

A study done by the UC Berkeley has shown that it is not just humans the only species that could show ethics, scruples, and conscientiousness. Their study shows that other critters like insects, reptiles, birds, and fish also possess this.

In a study published in Psychological Bulletin titled "Attributes of Conscientiousness Throughout the Animal Kingdom: An Empirical and Evolutionary Overview," it shows that animals like birds, insects, and fish show traits like industriousness, neatness, tenacity, self-discipline, cautiousness, and other broad range of traits among large and small creatures. This was done by psychologists Mikel Delgado and Frank Sulloway after reviewing nearly 4,000 animal behaviors.

Like humans, conscientiousness among birds and other animals, which includes working hard, making ways to be morally ethical, and paying attention to detail, exhibits evolutionary benefits. It shows that it gives them the edge in hunting, gathering, attracting mates, procreating, and making the predators away for their own safety.

"Honeybees who are more likely to remove bee carcasses from their hive have more offspring, and birds who keep their nests tidier are less susceptible to being preyed on," Delgado said. In an article published on Phys.org, Delgado added that for many bird species, mastering songs is the major key mating success.

She also said that in some bird species, females are being careful in observing the display nests that are built by males. "Those males that build the best display nests and that have chosen nesting sites that are well hidden from predators, are more likely to be selected as mates," Delgado said.

Their study also shows that birds and insects have the tendency to fit into an orderliness category. On the other hand, primates and other mammals fit more squarely into a striving box of achievement.

Despite having previous research focused on openness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism in animals like birds and insects, this is the first time that morality and conscientiousness were recognized throughout animals. Delgado said that it's because this previous research has already defined conscientiousness too narrowly for humans only.

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