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Image: courtesy The Conversation

A test to diagnose psychopaths can help identify fish behaviours that could benefit aquaculture

WORLDWIDE
Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by The Conversation:

In November 1888, fear stalked the streets of London as the Whitechapel Murderer claimed his latest victim. The unusually gruesome attacks had puzzled investigators, so police surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond examined the victims for clues that might help reveal the killer’s identity. Dr. Bond concluded that the violence of these attacks meant that the Whitechapel Murderer — who would later become known as Jack the Ripper — was a reclusive man with a strong impulsive drive.

Dr. Bond had created the first offender profile, applying a psychological technique that assumes an individual’s behaviour is consistent over time and that similar crimes are committed by similar offenders. These assumptions are controversial among psychologists, although police investigators have since used this approach to create criminal profiles that narrow suspect lists for unsolved cases.

Lumpfish are raised in hatcheries to supply salmon farms. (Emily Costello), Author provided --->

Perhaps the most famous profiling tool is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. This test scores responses to a series of questions to build a personality profile, which is then used to predict the likelihood of a person showing psychopathic behaviour.

Profiling personalities

Personality profiling is not unique to criminology. The method is used to identify health risks, aid personnel recruitment, develop education programs and build dating apps. Despite this wide range of applications, there is one thing all these approaches have in common: they are almost exclusively used on humans.

Biologists recognize that animals have personality traits that are consistent across time. However, animal behaviour is often studied in large groups of animals so that data can be collected to investigate wide-scale trends. This means the need to build detailed personality profiles on an individual scale is uncommon.

Unless, as demonstrated by the case of Jack the Ripper, there are unknown individuals within a population that exhibit a rare behaviour and are avoiding detection.

Photo: credit fishlarvae.org/cleanerfish-conference-2016

Underwater mystery

Cleaner fish remove and eat parasites from the skin of other fishes. Some species of cleaner fish are used in salmon aquaculture to help control parasitic sea lice. Lumpfish are a commonly used cleaner fish, and millions of juveniles are released into salmon farms each year. However, only a minority of lumpfish (around 20 per cent) actually clean salmon of sea lice, while the rest either ignore salmon or compete for pellet food.(continues...)

Author/Source: Benjamin Whittaker/ The Conversation  | Read the full article by clicking the link here

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