Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Happiness is positive welfare in brown capuchins (Sapajus apella)

Robinson, Lauren M.; Waran, Natalie K.; Leach, Matthew C.; Morton, F. Blake; Paukner, Annika; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth; Handel, Ian; Wilson, Vanessa A.D.; Brosnan, Sarah F.; Weiss, Alexander


Lauren M. Robinson

Natalie K. Waran

Matthew C. Leach

Annika Paukner

Elizabeth Lonsdorf

Ian Handel

Vanessa A.D. Wilson

Sarah F. Brosnan

Alexander Weiss


Questionnaires that allow people who are familiar with individual animals to rate the welfare of these animals are an underutilised tool. We designed a 12-item welfare questionnaire and tested its reliability and associations with subjective well-being (SWB), locomotor stereotypy, and personality traits. The welfare questionnaire included questions relating to physical health, stress and coping, satisfaction with social relationships, psychological stimulation, and the display of positive and negative welfare indicators. We collected ratings of 66 brown capuchins (Sapajus apella) living in three facilities. Each capuchin was rated on the welfare questionnaire by an average of 2.8 raters. The interrater reliability of the welfare questionnaire items ranged from ICC(3,k) 0.51 to 0.86. A principal components analysis indicated that the 12 welfare items loaded onto one component. We repeated this process with the welfare and four items used to measure subjective well-being and found all the items were defined by a single component (welfareSWB). We then conducted three sets of analyses, one predicting the welfare component, one predicting the SWB component, and predicting the welfareSWB component. The independent variables were frequency of locomotor stereotypy, personality, age, and sex; facility was included as a random effect. In models including stereotypy, age, and sex we found frequency of stereotypy to be significantly associated with all three predicted components (ps 


Robinson, L. M., Waran, N. K., Leach, M. C., Morton, F. B., Paukner, A., Lonsdorf, E., …Weiss, A. (2016). Happiness is positive welfare in brown capuchins (Sapajus apella). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 181, 145-151.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2016
Publication Date 2016-08
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 10, 2020
Journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Print ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 181
Pages 145-151
Keywords Capuchin; Personality; Primate; Stereotypy; Subjective well-being; Welfare
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information A corrigendum to this paper was published on 11 May 2018:

The authors regret unintentionally reverse-scoring Attentiveness. As such, the signs of the coefficients related to Attentiveness in Tables 4,5,6, S3, S4, S5 and our descriptions of the results of these exploratory analyses on pages 145, 148, and 149, should be reversed.

The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations