Mechanisms of decision-making and the interpretation of choice tests

Choice tests are commonly used to measure animals’ preferences, and the results of such tests are used to make recommendations regarding animal husbandry. An implicit assumption underlying the majority of choice tests is that the preferences obtained are independent of the set of options available in the test. This follows from two assumptions about the […]

Personality predicts decision making only when information is unreliable

Phenotypic plasticity in decision making should be selected for when reliable information on current conditions is available. When current information is unreliable, however, selection should favour unresponsive behavioural phenotypes, which might lead to the emergence of personalities. We tested the hypothesis that personality will affect decision making when information is unreliable, but not when it […]