Stressful politics: Voters' cortisol responses to the outcome of the 2008 United States Presidential election

ArticleinPsychoneuroendocrinology 35(5):768-74 · December 2009with 97 Reads
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Abstract
Social subordination can be biologically stressful; when mammals lose dominance contests they have acute increases in the stress hormone cortisol. However, human studies of the effect of dominance contest outcomes on cortisol changes have had inconsistent results. Moreover, human studies have been limited to face-to-face competitions and have heretofore never examined cortisol responses to shifts in political dominance hierarchies. The present study investigated voters' cortisol responses to the outcome of the 2008 United States Presidential election. 183 participants at two research sites (Michigan and North Carolina) provided saliva samples at several time points before and after the announcement of the winner on Election Night. Radioimmunoassay was used to measure levels of cortisol in the saliva samples. In North Carolina, John McCain voters (losers) had increases in post-outcome cortisol levels, whereas Barack Obama voters (winners) had stable post-outcome cortisol levels. The present research provides novel evidence that societal shifts in political dominance can impact biological stress responses in voters whose political party becomes socio-politically subordinate.

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  • Sociobiology: The New Synthesis Harvard Uni-versity Press Endocrine + Models PNEC-1716; No of Pages 7 Please cite this articleinpress as: Stressfulpolitics:Voters’cortisol responses to the outcomeof the 2008UnitedStates Presidential election
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    • F Suay
    • A Salvador
    • E Gonzalez-Bono
    • C Sanchos
    • M Martí
    • S Martí-Sanchis
    • V M Simon
    • J B Montoro
    Serrano, M.A., Salvador, A., Gonzalez-Bono, E., Sanchis, C., Suay, F., 2000. Hormonal responses to competition. Psicothema 12, 440— 444. Suay, F., Salvador, A., Gonzalez-Bono, E., Sanchos, C., Martí, M., Martí-Sanchis, S., Simon, V.M., Montoro, J.B., 1999. Effects of competition and its outcome on serum testosterone, cortisol and prolactin. Psychoneuroendocrinology 24, 551—566. Sutton, J.R., Coleman, M.J., Casey, J., Lazarus, L., 1973. Androgen responses during physical exercise. British Medical Journal 1, 520—522. Tamashiro, K.L.K., Nguyen, M.M.N., Sakai, R.R., 2005. Social stress: from rodents to primates. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 26, 27—40.
  • The 20-item RWA Scale
    • B Altemeyer
    Altemeyer, B., 1998. The 20-item RWA Scale. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Manitoba.
  • Book
    This book shows that many ordinary people today are highly susceptible to hate literature and are psychologically disposed to embrace antidemocratic, facist policies. Many of our biggest problems, seemingly unrelated, are found to have common authoritarian roots. This book gives insight into how authoritarian minds are created and how they operate, and how their failings and vulnerabilities produce submission and aggression. A search for authoritarians on the left finds very few. Instead, studies reveal a strong concentration of authoritarians among religious fundamentalists and conservative politicians. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(jacket)
  • Article
    Hormone (testosterone, cortisol)–behavior relationships have been extensively studied among male competitors, and far less so among female competitors. To address this gap, we studied members of a nationally recognized college women's rugby team. Seventeen players (ages 18–22 years) provided saliva samples 24 h before, 20 min prior to, and immediately after five league matches. Subjects self-reported aggressiveness, team bonding, pregame mental state, postgame performance evaluation, and whether the opponent was more or less challenging than expected. Results revealed that both testosterone and cortisol levels increased in anticipation of the matches. Postgame levels of both hormones were higher than pregame levels. The pregame rise in testosterone was associated with team bonding, aggressiveness, and being focused, but was unrelated to perceptions of the opponent's skill. Testosterone change during the game was unrelated to winning or losing, evaluations of personal performance, or perceptions of the opponent's threat. Game changes in cortisol were positively related to player evaluations of whether the opponent was more of a challenge than expected, and negatively related to losing. These results are compared with hormone–behavior patterns found among male competitors and are interpreted within a recent theory of sex differences in response to challenges.
  • Article
    The purpose of this investigation was to study the physiological and psychological states of 16 tennis players (8 males, 8 females) during the day of the first match of a tennis tournament and their relation to performance. Athletes completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, including both intensity and direction subscales prior to the first match and collected saliva for cortisol analysis on several occasions: during a resting day (baseline values) and prior to and after both competitions. Results showed the males and females have different responses in the CSAI-2 subcomponents. Somatic anxiety was significantly higher (+23%: p < .05) in females compared to males whereas self-confidence was significantly higher in males (+34%: p < .05). Winners had significantly lower cognitive anxiety and higher Self-confidence scores than losers. Somatic anxiety was significantly higher in the losers. Our results showed a cortisol response to competition, which was especially characterized by an anticipatory rise. Males had the same pattern of cortisol responses than females, even if the cortisol concentrations were significantly higher in females the day of the competition. According to the outcome, significant differences between winners and losers cortisol concentrations were observed whatever the hour of taking (except in the evening), cortisol concentrations being the highest at the loser’s. The measurement of cortisol at the same time that self-report psychological indicators would provide an approach to examine changes in anxiety, and its relationship to performance
  • Article
    Competitive situations induced hormonal changes, depending on the outcome, victory or defeat. This study aimed to investigate the salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) and the mental state responses to a real judo championship. Data about individuals’ anxiety levels, strategies of coping, and patterns of behavior were thus collected. The relationship between hormonal changes and psychological variables were also analyzed. Our results showed a C response to competition, which was especially characterized by an anticipatory rise. Depending on outcome, results did not show statistically significant different C responses. The T values noted after the last fight were significantly greater in the losers than those obtained in the winners. Hormonal response did not show a relationship with psychological variables depending on the outcome. Losers showed just before the first fight an elevated cognitive anxiety, accompanied by low self-confidence. Moreover, they were characterized by type B behavior. Types of coping strategies also differentiated losers from winners. Finally, even if no relationships between hormonal and psychological variables depending on the outcome were found, our results showed that state and trait psychological variables, as well as the coping strategies, must be taken into account to better understand the response to competitive situations. Aggr. Behav. 27:55–63, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
  • Article
    Levels of circulating cortisol, testosterone, and testosterone-binding globulin were measured in 15 male wrestlers (18–22 yrs of age) in relation to wrestling bouts and their outcomes. Concentrations of cortisol and testosterone increased consistently during wrestling bouts, while levels of testosterone-binding globulin dropped. Winners of competitive matches showed greater increases in both cortisol and testosterone than did losers. Findings indicate that humans, like other social mammals, may undergo specific endocrine changes in response to victory or defeat. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Student participants who were high vs. low on Altemeyer's (1996) Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale read background information and observed a videotaped interview concerning a schizophrenic woman who ostensibly killed her 2 young children in response to what she perceived as divine command. The woman now was functioning normally in response to medical treatment. High RWAs recommended harsher sentencing and expressed less sympathy than did low RWAs. High RWAs also evinced more facial electromyographic activity from the corrugator brow (i.e., frown) muscle while observing the interview than did low RWAs and gave the woman lower ratings on the Affective Attitudes Scale (Crites, Fabrigar, & Petty, 1994).
  • Article
    Serum testosterone and cortisol levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in 14 young male judo competitors, in samples taken 10 minutes before and 45 minutes after two different procedures. The first involved physical exercise and the second competitive fighting. Both procedures were of 5 minutes duration and sessions took place at the same time (between 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. local time) but on different days. Comparing the two situations over all subjects revealed that testosterone increased after exercise and decreased slightly after Competition. Between subject comparisons suggested that contrary to previous claims, winning or losing did not significantly change the testosterone and cortisol levels. Comparisons of subjects who were members of the Regional Team with individuals who were not part of that group confirmed that members increased their testosterone levels after competition, whereas the nonmembers showed a significant decrease. Moreover, success of the individuals, in their sporting record, correlated positively and significantly with the changes of testosterone observed during the competition. These preliminary results suggest that previous personal experience of success can influence the pattern of the psychoendocrine response to a contest situation.
  • Article
    Testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) were assayed from saliva samples given by young men (n = 28) and women (n = 32) before, during, and after competing with a same-sex partner in a video game. The T response to the competition is different in each sex; the C response is the same. Male results confirm prior reports of a pre-contest rise in testosterone. Male results did not confirm previous findings that after a contest, the testosterone of winners is higher than that of losers, perhaps because the video game contest produced little mood difference between male winners and losers. Unlike male testosterone, female testosterone generally decreased throughout the experiment. Trends in T and C are parallel in women but not in men. Apparently T works differently in competition between men than between women.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Respuesta hormonal a la competición. Las competiciones deportivas han sido utilizadas para analizar la influencia de enfrentamientos sociales sobre los niveles hormonales. Sin embargo, los resultados han sido inconsistentes. Diversas variables como el resultado, el esfuerzo físico, el estado de ánimo y la atribucin causal han sido consideradas como importantes mediadores de dicha influencia. Nuestro objetivo fue examinar su papel en la respuesta de la testosterona y del cortisol en un enfrentamiento real. Para ello, doce judokas que participaban en una competición real entre clubs, fueron estudiados. Los resultados no mostraron diferencias significativas en función del resultado en los niveles hormonales, esfuerzo físico, estado de ánimo ni en la atribución causal; únicamente la satisfacción con el resultado fue significativa. Interesantemente, la respuesta de la testosterona fue positivamente asociada con la autosatisfacción (self-appraisal) de la ejecución y la atribución del resultado al esfuerzo personal. El cortisol mostró una relación consistente con el estado de ánimo negativo. Estos resultados apoyan una clara asociación de las respuestas hormonales inducidas por la competición con aspectos cognitivos y emocionales más que con características objetivas de la situación (resultado o esfuerzo físico).
  • Article
    The stress response system is comprised of an intricate interconnected network that includes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. The HPA axis maintains the organism's capacity to respond to acute and prolonged stressors and is a focus of research on the sequelae of stress. Human studies of the HPA system have been facilitated enormously by the development of salivary assays which measure cortisol, the steroid end-product of the HPA axis. The use of salivary cortisol is prevalent in child development stress research. However, in order to measure children's acute cortisol reactivity to circumscribed stressors, researchers must put children in stressful situations which produce elevated levels of cortisol. Unfortunately, many studies on the cortisol stress response in children use paradigms that fail to produce mean elevations in cortisol. This paper reviews stressor paradigms used with infants, children, and adolescents to guide researchers in selecting effective stressor tasks. A number of different types of stressor paradigms were examined, including: public speaking, negative emotion, relationship disruption/threatening, novelty, handling, and mild pain paradigms. With development, marked changes are evident in the effectiveness of the same stressor paradigm to provoke elevations in cortisol. Several factors appear to be critical in determining whether a stressor paradigm is successful, including the availability of coping resources and the extent to which, in older children, the task threatens the social self. A consideration of these issues is needed to promote the implementation of more effective stressor paradigms in human developmental psychoendocrine research.
  • Article
    In many animal species including humans circulating androgen levels in males respond to social challenges. This response has been interpreted as an adaptive mechanism that helps the individuals to adjust their behavior to changes in social context. According to this hypothesis socially modulated androgen levels (e.g. increased levels in dominants and decreased levels in subordinates) would influence the subsequent expression of social behavior in a status-dependent fashion. This rationale is partially based on male physiology and therefore has been rarely investigated in females. Here, we investigated if a hormonal response to a social challenge that produces changes in status is also present in human females. We have collected saliva from and administered questionnaires to female soccer players of both teams playing the final match of the Portuguese Female soccer league. Samples were collected on a neutral day and on the day of the game both before and after the match. The change in testosterone levels (i.e. post-game-pre-game values=Delta(T)) was positive in the winners and negative in the losers and there was a significant difference in the testosterone change (i.e. Delta(T)) over the game between winners and losers. Cortisol levels did not vary with contest outcome. An anticipatory rise in circulating levels of both hormones (testosterone and cortisol) was detected before the match. Paralleling the hormonal responses, changes in mood and anxiety state were also found between both teams, with more positive states being observed in winners and more negative states being observed in losers at the end of the match. These results suggest that testosterone also responds to social challenges in human females and that contest-induced mood changes may influence this response.
  • Article
    Confronting another individual or group motivated by the same goal is a very frequent situation in human communities that occurs in many other species. Competitive interactions emerge as critical situations that shed light on the effects and consequences of social stress on health. But more important than the situation itself is the way it is interpreted by the subject. This "appraisal" involves cognitive processes that contribute to explaining the neuroendocrine response to these interactions, helping to understanding the vulnerability or resistance to their effects. In this review, we defend the need to study human competition within the social stress framework, while maintaining an evolutionary perspective, and taking advantage of the theoretical and methodological advances in psychology and psychophysiology in order to better understand the cognitive processes underlying the social stress response in humans.
  • McCain abandons his efforts to win Michigan
    • M Cooper
    Cooper, M., 2008, October. McCain abandons his efforts to win Michigan. New York Times, Retrieved April 23, 2009, from:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/us/politics/ 03michigan.html.
  • Article
    Testosterone and cortisol were measured in six university tennis players across six matches during their varsity season. Testosterone rose just before most matches, and players with the highest prematch testosterone had the most positive improvement in mood before their matches. After matches, mean testosterone rose for winners relative to losers, especially for winners with very positive moods after their victories and who evaluated their own performance highly. Winners with rising testosterone had higher testosterone before their next match, in contrast to losers with falling testosterone, who had lower testosterone before their next match. Cortisol was not related to winning or losing, but it was related to seed (top players having low cortisol), and cortisol generally declined as the season progressed. These results are consistent with a biosocial theory of status.
  • Article
    The serum androgen response to physical exercise was studied in highly trained athletes and in normal male medical students. Serum androgens rose in response to maximal exercise and the rise was independent of serum luteinizing hormone. No response was obtained with submaximal exercise.
  • Article
    Ten subjects exercised on a motor driven treadmill at work loads varying from 36 to 90% of their maximum aerobic power (VO2max). Plasma cortisol (F), cardiac frequency (fH), tympanic temperature (Tty), and oxygen intake (VO2) were measured during rest, exercise, and recovery periods. At the highest work load that could be maintained for 1 hr (65% to 90% VO2max) a rise in F was found of the order of 7.02±4.88 μg/100 ml (P<0.001; and a further increase (3.62 μg/100 ml) of F was observed during the first 10 min of recovery. At lower work loads, the response of F to 1 hr of exercise was variable but analysis of all the data suggests that at work levels below 50% of VO2max F usually decreased (3.74±2.27 μg/100 ml; P<0.05) and that before F began to rise a critical level of about 60% of the subject's VO2max had to be exceeded. The Tty corresponding to this work load was 37.2±0.13°C. Cortisol [1,2 3H](10 μCi) was administered to 2 subjects 30 min before a 1 hr period of exercise at 77 and 85% VO2max, respectively. The specific activity of their F continued to decline during exercise showing that the increase in F observed was due mainly to an increase in the rate of secretion and not to a decrease in the rate of removal of cortisol from the plasma. During the recovery period the specific activity of F remained nearly constant indicating the probable cessation of F secretion.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This paper summarizes some of the highlights of our current social stress research in rodents as it was inspired by the work of Jim Henry. First, it is argued that social defeat can be considered as one of the most severe stressors among a number of laboratory stressful stimuli in terms of neuroendocrine activation. Moreover, the stress response induced by defeat in particular is characterized by a strong sympathetic dominance. Depending on the stress parameter, the stress response induced by a single social defeat may last from hours to days and weeks. As a long term consequence of a single defeat experience, the animal becomes sensitized to subsequent minor stressors. Finally, the importance of individual differences in coping style in relation to stress vulnerability is discussed.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Basking in reflected glory, in which individuals increase their self-esteem by identifying with successful others, is usually regarded as a cognitive process that can affect behavior. It may also involve physiological processes, including changes in the production of endocrine hormones. The present research involved two studies of changes in testosterone levels among fans watching their favorite sports teams win or lose. In the first study, participants were eight male fans attending a basketball game between traditional college rivals. In the second study, participants were 21 male fans watching a televised World Cup soccer match between traditional international rivals. Participants provided saliva samples for testosterone assay before and after the contest. In both studies, mean testosterone level increased in the fans of winning teams and decreased in the fans of losing teams. These findings suggest that watching one's heroes win or lose has physiological consequences that extend beyond changes in mood and self-esteem.
  • Article
    In humans, hormonal responses to winning/losing and their relationships to mood and status change have mostly been examined in individual athletic competitions. In this study, the salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) and mood responses to a real match between two professional basketball teams were investigated. Data about individuals' contributions to outcome, performance appraisal, and attribution of outcome to internal/external factors were also collected. Results did not show statistically significant different T and C responses depending on the outcome. Negative mood was significantly enhanced, especially in the losers, while winners showed a better appraisal of team performance and a more internal attribution. T response did not show a significant relationship with mood changes, but it correlated positively with the "score/time playing" ratio, an indicator of individual participation in the outcome. Furthermore, T response correlated negatively with external attribution in winners and positively in losers. These results indicate that in a real, highly competitive situation, T changes are not directly a response to the outcome, but rather to the contribution the individual makes to it and to the causes he attributes.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Unlabelled: This study presents saliva cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) levels in a group of 15 young wrestlers (national and international) during a two-days competition. Values are compared to references established on a resting day (3 weeks before the competition). Post-competition recovery was studied by recording evening hormonal levels (5.30 pm) for 8 days. Results: C levels increased sharply (about 2.5 fold resting levels) throughout the competition with no further changes in T levels. The rise in C appeared before entering the competition, traducing a striking phenomenon of anticipation. At the end of the competition, C levels fell very quickly (within 1.5 h) to basal value when T rose significantly, resulting in a very high T/C ratio. During the recovery period, C levels corresponded to basal ones and T remained high, resulting in a high T/C ratio (>30% than basal one) till the 5th day. Conclusion: Competition resulted in a low T/C ratio, considered as a catabolic phase. The recovery which is associated with a feeling of tiredness and an incapacity to train strenuously recognized by the trainers, paradoxically corresponded to a high T/C ratio (so-called anabolic phase).
  • Article
    Full-text available
    In various species, competitive encounters influence hormonal responses in a different way depending on their outcome, victory or defeat. This study aimed to investigate the effects of sports competition and its outcome on hormonal response, comparing it with those displayed in situations involving non-effort and non-competitive effort. To this end, serum testosterone (T), cortisol (C) and prolactin (PRL) were measured in 26 judoists who participated in three sessions (control, judo fight and ergometry). The relationship between hormonal changes and psychological variables before and after the fight were also analysed. Our results showed a hormonal response to competition, which was especially characterized by an anticipatory rise of T and C. Depending on outcome, significant higher C levels were found in winners in comparison to losers through all the competition but not in T or PRL, both groups expending a similar physical effort. Furthermore, similar hormonal responses to the fight and to a non-competitive effort with the same caloric cost were found, other than with PRL. Winners showed a higher appraisal of their performance and satisfaction with the outcome, and perceived themselves as having more ability to win than losers, although there were no significant differences in motivation to win. Finally, the relationships found between T changes in competition and motivation to win, as well as between C response and self-efficacy suggest that in humans hormonal response to competition is not a direct consequence of winning and losing but rather is mediated by complex psychological processes.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The secretion of glucocorticoids (GCs) is a classic endocrine response to stress. Despite that, it remains controversial as to what purpose GCs serve at such times. One view, stretching back to the time of Hans Selye, posits that GCs help mediate the ongoing or pending stress response, either via basal levels of GCs permitting other facets of the stress response to emerge efficaciously, and/or by stress levels of GCs actively stimulating the stress response. In contrast, a revisionist viewpoint posits that GCs suppress the stress response, preventing it from being pathologically overactivated. In this review, we consider recent findings regarding GC action and, based on them, generate criteria for determining whether a particular GC action permits, stimulates, or suppresses an ongoing stress-response or, as an additional category, is preparative for a subsequent stressor. We apply these GC actions to the realms of cardiovascular function, fluid volume and hemorrhage, immunity and inflammation, metabolism, neurobiology, and reproductive physiology. We find that GC actions fall into markedly different categories, depending on the physiological endpoint in question, with evidence for mediating effects in some cases, and suppressive or preparative in others. We then attempt to assimilate these heterogeneous GC actions into a physiological whole.
  • Article
    Our goal in these studies was to characterize some specific aspects of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in rats exposed to repeated social stress. We used a modification of the resident/intruder paradigm in which male intruder rats were subjected to defeat and then separated from the resident by an enclosure for a total of 30 min on Day 1. On Days 2-7, intruder rats were exposed to different resident rats every day through a wire mesh enclosure for 30 min in order to minimize injurious physical contact between the two rats. The intruder rats gained significantly less weight than controls over the 7-day period of stress though basal corticosterone levels and adrenal and thymus weights were not significantly different between the two groups. On Day 8, repeatedly stressed rats exhibited facilitation of HPA responses to novel restraint compared to controls but no differences in negative feedback sensitivity to dexamethasone (0.05 or 0.2 mg/kg) were observed. Thus, the HPA axis of socially stressed rats remains responsive to a stimulus that has never been encountered. Using this type of repeated presentation to an aggressive resident allows us to examine the neuroendocrine and behavioral consequences, and their underlying neural mechanisms, of exposure to a stressor that is social in nature and naturalistic for rodents.
  • Article
    Among primate species there is pronounced variation in the relationship between social status and measures of stress physiology. An informal meta-analysis was designed to investigate the basis of this diversity across different primate societies. Species were included only if a substantial amount of published information was available regarding both social behavior and rank-related differences in stress physiology. Four Old World and three New World species met these criteria, including societies varying from small-group, singular cooperative breeders (common marmoset and cotton top tamarin) to large-troop, multi-male, multi-female polygynous mating systems (rhesus, cynomolgus, talapoin, squirrel monkeys, and olive baboon). A questionnaire was formulated to obtain information necessary to characterize the stress milieu for individuals in particular primate societies. We standardized cortisol values within each species by calculating the ratio of basal cortisol concentrations of subordinates to those of dominants in stable dominance hierarchies and expressing the ratio as a percentage (relative cortisol levels). The meta-analysis identified two variables that significantly predicted relative cortisol levels: subordinates exhibited higher relative cortisol levels when they (1). were subjected to higher rates of stressors, and (2). experienced decreased opportunities for social (including close kin) support. These findings have important implications for understanding the different physiological consequences of dominant and subordinate social status across primate societies and how social rank may differ in its behavioral and physiological manifestations among primate societies.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This meta-analysis reviews 208 laboratory studies of acute psychological stressors and tests a theoretical model delineating conditions capable of eliciting cortisol responses. Psychological stressors increased cortisol levels; however, effects varied widely across tasks. Consistent with the theoretical model, motivated performance tasks elicited cortisol responses if they were uncontrollable or characterized by social-evaluative threat (task performance could be negatively judged by others), when methodological factors and other stressor characteristics were controlled for. Tasks containing both uncontrollable and social-evaluative elements were associated with the largest cortisol and adrenocorticotropin hormone changes and the longest times to recovery. These findings are consistent with the animal literature on the physiological effects of uncontrollable social threat and contradict the belief that cortisol is responsive to all types of stressors.
  • Article
    The author considered the small part of the population whose members score highly on both the Social Dominance Orientation scale and the Right-Wing Authoritarianism scale. Studies of these High SDO-High RWAs, culled from samples of nearly 4000 Canadian university students and over 2600 of their parents and reported in the present article, reveal that these dominating authoritarians are among the most prejudiced persons in society. Furthermore, they seem to combine the worst elements of each kind of personality, being power-hungry, unsupportive of equality, manipulative, and amoral, as social dominators are in general, while also being religiously ethnocentric and dogmatic, as right-wing authoritarians tend to be. The author suggested that, although they are small in number, such persons can have considerable impact on society because they are well-positioned to become the leaders of prejudiced right-wing political movements.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This study examined intra-individual change in testosterone, cortisol, and hormone-behavior relationships in response to a rowing ergometer competition. Forty-six members (23 females) of a university crew team provided saliva samples before, 20- and 40-min post-competition, as well as baselines on a non-competition day. Behavioral assessments included measures of previous rowing experience, dominance, competitiveness, bonding with teammates, pre- and post-competition mental state and performance. Men's and women's endocrine responses to this competitive setting were more different than alike and varied by level of competitive experience, the specific phase of the competitive event, and the particular hormone measured. Inter-individual differences in testosterone and cortisol were differentially associated with social affiliation with teammates but rarely with dominance or competitiveness. Theoretically, the findings support the integration of features of the 'tend and befriend' model with the biosocial model of status, and suggest future research directions that may lead to clarification and refinement of those ideas.
  • Article
    Dominance hierarchies occur in numerous social species, and rank within them can greatly influence the quality of life of an animal. In this review, I consider how rank can also influence physiology and health. I first consider whether it is high- or low-ranking animals that are most stressed in a dominance hierarchy; this turns out to vary as a function of the social organization in different species and populations. I then review how the stressful characteristics of social rank have adverse adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological consequences. Finally, I consider how these findings apply to the human realm of health, disease, and socioeconomic status.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Social stress is associated with development of many psychological and physiological disturbances in humans. Animal models are needed to determine the etiology of these diseases and to develop rational clinical therapies to treat those afflicted. Rodent and non-human primate models of social stress have been developed to address these needs and contribute in complementary ways to the understanding of social stress. In this review, we provide an overview of common rodent and non-human primate models of social stress used in the laboratory with a focus on social hierarchy models. The implications of the current findings on understanding of the development of stress-related disease will also be discussed.
  • Article
    Men and women from a southern university's intercollegiate varsity soccer teams gave saliva samples before and after league matches. For the men, samples were collected for a single game ending in victory. For the women, samples were collected for two games, one of which ended in victory and the other in defeat. For both men and women, match competition substantially increased saliva cortisol (C) and testosterone (T). For women, play-related increases in saliva C and T were similar in victory and defeat. For both men and women, saliva T (but not C) was highly correlated with teammate ratings of playing abilities--one measure of status with teammates--and self-ratings of social connectedness with teammates, but the nature of the relationship was different according to sex. For men, play-related changes in T were positively correlated with these variables, but before-game T was not. For women, before-game T was positively related to each of these variables, but play-related changes in T were not. Status and social connectedness are pertinent to understanding interpersonal dynamics in most social groups, and these results--which link T and these variables in an athletic context--may have relevance for understanding social relationships in other settings.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The "end of ideology" was declared by social scientists in the aftermath of World War II. They argued that (a) ordinary citizens' political attitudes lack the kind of stability, consistency, and constraint that ideology requires; (b) ideological constructs such as liberalism and conservatism lack motivational potency and behavioral significance; (c) there are no major differences in content (or substance) between liberal and conservative points of view; and (d) there are few important differences in psychological processes (or styles) that underlie liberal versus conservative orientations. The end-of-ideologists were so influential that researchers ignored the topic of ideology for many years. However, current political realities, recent data from the American National Election Studies, and results from an emerging psychological paradigm provide strong grounds for returning to the study of ideology. Studies reveal that there are indeed meaningful political and psychological differences that covary with ideological self-placement. Situational variables--including system threat and mortality salience--and dispositional variables--including openness and conscientiousness--affect the degree to which an individual is drawn to liberal versus conservative leaders, parties, and opinions. A psychological analysis is also useful for understanding the political divide between "red states" and "blue states."
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Using a representative table game popular in Japan known as shogi, or Japanese chess, we investigated the effects of winning and losing on saliva composition. The subjects were 90 healthy male university students who were members of a shogi club. Saliva samples were collected immediately before and after playing shogi, and again 30 min later. Salivary cortisol and testosterone levels in the samples were determined by ELISA and EIA, respectively. After finishing each game, the competitiveness of the game was evaluated using questionnaires. In the samples taken after playing shogi, there was an increase in the levels of salivary testosterone and cortisol, regardless of whether the subject won or lost, and the tendency was more pronounced in competitive games. There were no such changes in the control group, who did not play a game prior to providing the samples. Our results suggest that stress response is intimately linked with competition and could be used to determine which players are more capable of handing stress in a competitive environment.