Extroverted gorillas live longer

This is what it's all about, takin' it easy... Photo: Ralf Skjerning/Flickr

This is what it’s all about, takin’ it easy… Photo: Ralf Skjerning/Flickr

Those popular kids may be onto something.

Researchers at American zoos spent the last 18 years watching their resident gorillas for certain trends. They observed who was outgoing and playful and who mostly kept to themselves. After observing 298 gorillas, they found that the extroverts lived longer.

The findings published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B are significant because they line up with human health. People who are positive and outgoing are more likely to reach 100 than pessimistic buzzkills. University of Edinburgh researcher Alex Weiss participated in the study, and says the findings illustrate that personality is an important aspect of the spectrum of animal and human health.

Other personality traits were monitored in the study, such as dominance and neuroticism, but only extroversion was found to play any role in longevity. Extroversion also had no link to gender or age.

So take a tip from the gorillas, Van Morrison, Eric Idle, Bobby McFerrin, and Three Dog Night. You might just live longer.


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