Article

Testosterone Change after Losing Predicts the Decision to Compete Again

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Abstract

Testosterone (T) levels can fluctuate after wins and losses, but surprisingly, there are no empirical studies in humans that have tested whether these post-competition T changes predict the social behaviors that follow. The present study examined whether changes in T after losing in a competition predicted who wanted to compete again in a second competition. Sixty-four males provided saliva samples immediately before and 15 min after a rigged one-on-one competition. After the second saliva sample, participants chose whether or not to compete again against the same competitor. Winners did not increase in T relative to losers, but pre-competition cortisol, change in cortisol, and pre-competition T were associated with T changes, especially in losers. Importantly, changes in T predicted decisions to compete again in losers. Losers who increased in T were more likely to choose to compete again than losers who decreased in T. T changes were unrelated to decisions to compete again in winners. These findings provide novel data in humans that T changes after a status loss predict subsequent social behavior. Our discussion focuses on the theoretical implications of these findings for the link between short-term T changes and status-related behaviors.

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... Indeed, research has shown that this designation of a winner or loser (i.e., competition outcome) has been shown to moderate the relationship between testosterone reactivity and subsequent competitive behavior. For example, in men, change in testosterone during competition has been found to be positively related with an individual's choice to compete again afterwards (against the same opponent), but only for those who lost (Mehta and Josephs, 2006). Specifically, losers experiencing increases in testosterone were more likely to choose to compete again while losers experiencing decreases in testosterone were more likely to choose the non-competitive alternative. ...
... Because hormones were sampled three times (immediately before competition, immediately after, and 15 min after competition), there are two time references for expressing change associated with the competitionfrom before to immediately after and from before to 15 min after. Laboratory studies of hormones and competition typically derive hormone-behavior relationships from saliva samples obtained 10-15 min following competition (e.g., Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Schultheiss et al., 2005) on the assumption that a hormone value for a saliva sample obtained 15 min after the end of competition reflects the blood level of hormone during competition. Consonant with this precedent, all results presented in this study regarding testosterone change refer to the relative change from baseline to 15 min after competition. ...
... Rather, relative status moderated the relationship between testosterone reactivity and task performance such that a positive association emerged only among men who experienced relative social victory. This finding is in-line with previous studies showing that, among men, competition outcome moderates the relationship between competition-related changes in testosterone level and psychological variables such as power motivation and competitive decision-making as well as, in the reverse direction, the relationship between competitive effort and post-competition testosterone levels (Carré and McCormick, 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Mehta et al., 2015b;Oxford et al., 2010;Schultheiss and Rohde, 2002;Schultheiss et al., 2005). ...
Article
Transient shifts in testosterone occur during competition and are thought to positively influence dominance behavior aimed at enhancing social status. However, individual differences in testosterone reactivity to status contests have not been well-studied in relation to real-time expressions of competitive behavior among men and women. This research tests the association between changes in endogenous testosterone levels during competition and performance in terms of competitive endurance. Participant sex, social presence, and relative status outcomes (e.g., winning vs. losing) are tested as moderators of this relationship. In two studies, men and women (total N = 398) competed in the competitive will task (timed weight-holding) either individually or in the presence of an opponent (Study 1) or as a team with and without the presence of a competitor team (Study 2). Results showed a positive relationship between testosterone reactivity and performance for men, particularly those who won or ranked highest among their group - with increasing testosterone predicting better and decreasing testosterone predicting worse performance. For women, the effect only emerged among individuals who competed in dyads and lost. In Study 2, an exploratory mediation analysis revealed that individual differences in trait dominance predicted both testosterone reactivity to competition and task performance, with testosterone reactivity (moderated by sex and status outcome) partially explaining the direct relationship between dominance-related traits and behavior. Our goal was to examine testosterone reactivity in relation to real-time competitive effort and highlight the potential role of this relationship in explaining how individual differences in trait dominance produce competitive behavior.
... Characterizing the biological underpinnings of attitudinal shifts toward elected leaders may provide insights into partisan tendencies that sustain or intensify intergroup conflict (Chang et al., 2016;Tajfel & Turner, 1979;Van Bavel & Pereira, 2018). In the present research, we use the 2012 United States (US) presidential election to investigate how victory or defeat in an election is linked to changes in voters' concentrations of testosterone-a steroid hormone theorized to fluctuate during competition and to influence status seeking (Carré et al., 2009;Casto & Edwards, 2016b;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). We further examine how election outcome-related changes in testosterone are associated with shifts in attitudes toward the elected leader. ...
... The biosocial model of status also predicts that competition-related changes in testosterone should influence subsequent status-seeking behaviors. This prediction has received support in laboratory studies, particularly when examining losers' behaviors toward winners (Carré et al., 2009;Casto & Edwards, 2016b;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). Losers who experience testosterone elevations are more likely to re-challenge winners to a second competition and to behave more aggressively toward winners compared to losers who experience testosterone decreases (Carré et al., 2009;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). ...
... This prediction has received support in laboratory studies, particularly when examining losers' behaviors toward winners (Carré et al., 2009;Casto & Edwards, 2016b;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). Losers who experience testosterone elevations are more likely to re-challenge winners to a second competition and to behave more aggressively toward winners compared to losers who experience testosterone decreases (Carré et al., 2009;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). ...
Article
Intergroup competitions such as democratic elections can intensify intergroup polarization and conflict. Partisan attitudes toward the elected leader can also shift from before to after an election, but the biology underlying these attitudinal shifts remains largely unknown. An important factor could be the hormone testosterone, which is theorized to fluctuate during competition and to influence status seeking. In a naturalistic study of 113 registered voters, we measured changes in testosterone levels and attitudes toward the winner of the 2012 US Presidential Election. We found that supporters of the losing candidate (Romney) showed acute increases in testosterone levels compared to supporters of the winner (Obama) on the evening of Election Day. Supporters of the losing candidate also demonstrated flatter diurnal testosterone slopes on Election Day that persisted up to two days after the election. Furthermore, greater increases in acute testosterone levels and flatter diurnal slopes among supporters of the losing candidate were associated with less positive evaluations of the winning candidate. These testosterone-moderated attitudinal shifts observed in the days after the election showed a directionally similar pattern with a weaker effect size six months later. Finally, we confirmed that the main results were robust to alternative data analytic choices using multiverse specification curve analysis. The findings from this paper suggest that hormonal responses to large-scale intergroup competitions may shape how we perceive our elected leaders, shedding light on the biology of intergroup relations.
... C and T measurements showed a skewed distribution. Based on previous studies [46,47,66], we log-transformed hormonal measurements (T and C) to approximate them to a normal distribution. Consequently, posterior analyses with hormones were carried out using logtransformed units, while for emotional measurements were used raw values. ...
... In addition, regardless of the outcome, we found an overall T decrease throughout the competition. These findings agree with previous laboratory competition studies that found a T decrease, no significant change during the competition, or even no competition or outcome effect [13,22,42,43,46,48,59]. However, these results contrast with other studies that, consistent with the biosocial theory of status, found a relationship between T and winning in men and women [3,16,72]. ...
... Regarding C as well, we did not find differences related to condition or outcome in any of the samples. Both men and women showed a decreasing C level during the experiment, regardless of the condition (winners, losers, or CG), as described in other studies [42,44,46]. However, in the case of women pre-competition C levels predicted posttask C levels in both, winners and losers, showing a consistent relationship between C levels across the competition that it has not been found in men. ...
Article
The present study analyzes the testosterone (T), cortisol (C) and emotional response in competitive interactions between dyads, as well as the relationship between basal T and the emotional response. Seventy-two men and women (36 dyads) participated in same-sex dyads in a face-to-face laboratory competition, and thirty-two men and women (16 dyads) carried out the same task in a non-competitive condition. Salivary samples (5 ml of saliva, plastic vials) were provided at three time points (baseline, task, and post-task), and subsequently T (pg/ml) and C (nmol/L) concentrations were measured using ELISA method. Participants completed self-reported measures of emotional valence, emotional arousal and perceived dominance by means of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), at three time points (pre-task, task, and post-task). Two-level crossed Multilevel Models (MLM) showed a participants' stability in C (Mean ± SEM: baseline: 3.84 ± 0.28, task: 2.92 ± 0.28 and post-task: 2.62 ± 0.3), emotional valence (pre-task: 4 ± 0.06, task: 3.66 ± 0.1 and post-task: 3.84 ± 0.09), arousal (pre-task: 3.29 ± 0.09, task: 3.83 ± 0.09 and post-task: 3.38 ± 0.1) and dominance (pre-task: 3.28 ± 0.08, task: 3.4 ± 0.1 and post-task: 3.44 ± 0.09) values, which in the case of emotional valence and dominance was modulated by time-point, outcome and sex. Furthermore, analyses revealed that opponents' C, arousal and dominance values at one time-point influenced participants' values at the following time-point modulated by outcome, sex and time-point. Moreover, MLM indicated that in loser men, individuals higher in basal T (126.31 ± 6.4) displayed higher negative emotional valence after the defeat (post-task: 3.6 ± 0.21), while in women basal T (99.78 ± 12.6) was not significantly related to post competition emotional valence. These findings reinforce the importance of studying the relationship between hormonal and psychological changes in dyadic competition, and confirm that men and women differ in their psychophysiological responses to competition.
... Indeed, according to the biosocial theory of status, a feedback loop applies between T levels and assertiveness in attempting to achieve or maintain interpersonal status or dominance rank in nonsporting scenarios. 24 Therefore, in sport settings, T might tend to stay high when winning matches due to an increase in the willingness to compete. 24 However, the players we investigated lost 11 out of 12 played matches, which might have induced a decrement in T levels toward the end of the monitoring period. ...
... 24 Therefore, in sport settings, T might tend to stay high when winning matches due to an increase in the willingness to compete. 24 However, the players we investigated lost 11 out of 12 played matches, which might have induced a decrement in T levels toward the end of the monitoring period. Alternatively, the imbalance between load and recovery might also negatively impact T levels in basketball players, 25 although this was not evident in our study as we reported a constant T:C ratio across the in-season phase. ...
... Although these data are the first of this nature reported in basketball players, our findings are in line with those observed in rugby union players 29 showing nonsignificant associations between C and sRPE load as well as perceived recovery variables at weekly time points across the season. Nevertheless, a possible reason to explain our results might be that T and C responses are influenced not only by load and well-being variables but rather by a combination of physiological responses to training and match stimuli (eg, HR, oxygen consumption), 26 psychological aspects (eg, self-confidence, threat to lose, pressure), 24 and nonsport-related factors (eg, lifestyle, nutrition). Therefore, common load and well-being variables are not reflective of the anabolic and catabolic hormonal balance in basketball players during the inseason, indicating that hormonal responses may provide unique insight regarding player responses during congested match schedules. ...
Purpose: To assess weekly fluctuations in hormonal responses and their relationships with load and well-being during a congested in-season phase in basketball players. Methods: Ten semiprofessional, male basketball players were monitored during 4 congested in-season phase weeks consisting of 3 weekly matches. Salivary hormone variables (testosterone [T], cortisol [C], and T:C ratio) were measured weekly, and external load (PlayerLoad™ and PlayerLoad per minute), internal load session rating of perceived exertion, percentage of maximum heart rate (HR), summated HR zones, and well-being were assessed for each training session and match. Results: Significant (P < .05) moderate to large decreases in T were found in the third and fourth weeks compared with the first week. Nonsignificant moderate to large decreases in C were apparent in the last 2 weeks compared with previous weeks. Summated HR zones and perceived sleep significantly (P < .05) decreased in the fourth week compared with the first week; whereas, percentage of maximum HR significantly (P < .05) decreased in the fourth week compared with the second week. No significant relationships were found between weekly changes in hormonal responses and weekly changes in load and overall wellness. Conclusions: A congested schedule during the in-season negatively impacted the hormonal responses of players, suggesting that T and C measurements may be useful to detect fluctuations in hormone balance in such scenarios. The nonsignificant relationships between weekly changes in hormonal responses and changes in load and well-being indicate that other factors might induce hormonal changes across congested periods in basketball players.
... Although the relationship between testosterone and competitive behavior is 15 bidirectional, prior work justifies the prediction that testosterone reactivity is a driving force 16 underlying competitive striving. 17 In line with previous research about the role of social context in moderating 18 testosterone's effect on behavior (Carré & Archer, 2018), a particularly salient aspect of the 19 competition environment is the physical presence of an opponent or opponents. While models 20 about the dynamic relationship between testosterone and competition (e.g., the challenge 21 hypothesis) typically assume that emergence of this relationship requires an actual social 22 encounter, it is unclear whether this is indeed the case. ...
... For social species including humans and some non-human primates, contests 13 for status often take place within the context of social groups where placement among the social 15 Further, between-group dominance contests -coalitional competitions -are common among 16 human and non-human primate species (Crofoot & Wrangham, 2010). In these instances, group 17 membership is likely to influence testosterone reactivity to competition and competitive 18 behavior, as members of groups must balance individual dominance striving with the more supported by a few studies that have found that, among men, testosterone reactivity to 22 competition is affected by whether the contest is within or between group, with attenuated 23 represent underlying psychological motivations that are expressed behaviorally, at least in part, 1 as competitive endurance above and beyond physical strength. Critically, in this task, all 2 participants competed against an unknown set of other participants for a small monetary grand 3 prize given to those who performed the best overall (distributed after all subjects participated). 4 Thus, we expected that when an opponent or opponents were present, shifts in relative status as a 5 result of having performed better (a relative win) or worse (a relative loss) would occur during 6 the competition as relative winners would continue competing against the unknown standard of 7 'best overall performance among all the participants.' ...
... For participants who competed in dyads, we 14 also tested the moderating effects of relative social victory or defeat compared to one's 15 opponent. We predict that testosterone reactivity will be positively associated with competitive 16 endurance such that greater increases in testosterone will relate to a relatively longer 17 performance times and likewise, greater decreases in testosterone will relate to relatively shorter 18 performance times. Further, for those who competed in the presence of an opponent, we 19 predicted that the positive relationship between testosterone reactivity and competitive endurance 20 would emerge only for those who experience relative social victory within that context. ...
Article
Transient shifts in testosterone occur during competition and are thought to positively influence dominance behavior aimed at enhancing social status. However, individual differences in testosterone reactivity to status contests have not been well-studied in relation to real-time expressions of competitive behavior among men and women. This research tests the association between changes in endogenous testosterone levels during competition and performance in terms of competitive endurance. Participant sex, social presence, and relative status outcomes (e.g., winning vs. losing) are tested as moderators of this relationship. In two studies, men and women (total N = 398) competed in the competitive will task (timed weight-holding) either individually or in the presence of an opponent (Study 1) or as a team with and without the presence of a competitor team (Study 2). Results showed a positive relationship between testosterone reactivity and performance for men, particularly those who won or ranked highest among their group - with increasing testosterone predicting better performance and decreasing testosterone predicting worse performance. For women, the effect only emerged among individuals who competed in dyads and lost. In Study 2, an exploratory mediation analysis revealed that individual differences in trait dominance predicted both testosterone reactivity to competition and task performance, with testosterone reactivity (moderated by sex and status outcome) partially explaining the direct relationship between dominance-related traits and behavior. Our goal was to examine testosterone reactivity in relation to real-time competitive effort and highlight the potential role of this relationship in explaining how individual differences in trait dominance produce competitive behavior.
... Research has shown that testosterone levels fluctuate with social challenges (challenge hypothesis; Wingfield et al., 1990;Archer, 2006;Wobber et al., 2010) and that these fluctuations predict competitionrelated motivations (e.g., Carré and McCormick, 2008;Eisenegger et al., 2017;Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006), performance , and behaviors (e.g., aggression, Carré et al., 2009;Geniole et al., 2013; see also for recent reviews Geniole and Carré, 2018;Zilioli and Bird, 2017). Nevertheless, the direction and magnitude of effects often depended on the individual's status within the hierarchy, differing for those who recently won or lost a competition ( Josephs et al., 2006; Mehta and Josephs, 2006; for review Carré and Olmstead, 2015;Casto and Mehta, 2018; but also see, Carré et al., 2013) 1 . ...
... Research has shown that testosterone levels fluctuate with social challenges (challenge hypothesis; Wingfield et al., 1990;Archer, 2006;Wobber et al., 2010) and that these fluctuations predict competitionrelated motivations (e.g., Carré and McCormick, 2008;Eisenegger et al., 2017;Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006), performance , and behaviors (e.g., aggression, Carré et al., 2009;Geniole et al., 2013; see also for recent reviews Geniole and Carré, 2018;Zilioli and Bird, 2017). Nevertheless, the direction and magnitude of effects often depended on the individual's status within the hierarchy, differing for those who recently won or lost a competition ( Josephs et al., 2006; Mehta and Josephs, 2006; for review Carré and Olmstead, 2015;Casto and Mehta, 2018; but also see, Carré et al., 2013) 1 . Overall, these findings are consistent with the Biosocial Model of Status (Mazur, 1985), suggesting that changes in testosterone following a victory-equivalent to attaining higher status-may motivate status-relevant behavior (e.g., decisions to compete) to defend and attain higher status positions, but changes following a defeat may inhibit status-relevant behavior to avoid further status loss and harm (see Eisenegger et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Testosterone is associated with status-seeking behaviors such as competition, which may depend on whether one wins or loses status, but also on the stability of one's status. We examined (1) to what extent testosterone administration affects competition behavior in repeated social contests in men with high or low rank, and (2), whether this relationship is moderated by hierarchy stability, as predicted by the status instability hypothesis. Using a real effort-based design in healthy male participants (N = 173 males), we first found that testosterone (vs. placebo) increased motivation to compete for status, but only in individuals with an unstable low status. A second part of the experiment, tailored to directly compare stable with unstable hierarchies, indicated that exogenous testosterone again increased competitive motivation in individuals with a low unstable status, but decreased competition behavior in men with low stable status. Additionally, exogenous testosterone increased motivation in those with a stable high status. Further analysis suggested that these effects were moderated by individuals' trait dominance, and genetic differences assessed by the androgen receptor (CAG-repeat) and dopamine transporter (DAT1) polymorphisms. Our study provides evidence that testosterone specifically boosts status-related motivation when there is an opportunity to improve one's social status. The findings contribute to our understanding of testosterone's causal role in status-seeking motivation in competition behavior, and indicate that testosterone adaptively increases our drive for high status in a context-dependent manner. We discuss potential neurobiological pathways through which testosterone may attain these effects on behavior.
... Research investigating the role of T in competition finds that individuals' T levels increase in anticipation of competition, and from before to after a competitive situation (Archer, 2006;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). Furthermore, winners record greater increases in T from pre-to post-competition compared to losers (Archer, 2006, Carré & Olmstead, 2015. ...
... More specifically, when the TESTOSTERONE AND CONFLICT 19 outcome is attributed to external sources such as chance, luck, or referee decisions, winners record a decrease in T levels and losers record an increase in T levels (Archer, 2006). Also, increases in post-competition T predict decisions to compete again (Mehta & Josephs, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent investigations have focused on exploring the role of physiology in human communication, yet a plethora of work is required to better understand how physiology affects or is affected by relational communication and the present investigation contributes to this body of research. This study combined the tenets of communication accommodation theory (CAT), relational uncertainty, and steroid/peptide theory of social bonds (S/P theory) to examine the role of testosterone (T) in romantic partners’ conflict conversation behaviors. More specifically, the study proposed that T moderates the association between romantic partners use of (non)accommodation during conflict conversations and relational uncertainty, which in turn influences their relationship satisfaction. The study also investigated how individuals’ T levels fluctuate in response to their partner’s use of (non)accommodation during conflict conversation. The study tested several actor and partner moderated mediation models to reveal both antisocial andprosocial role of T in romantic partner’s conflict communication. Results revealed that T levels moderate the actor and partner effects of perceived partner (non)accommodation on relational uncertainty differentially, and relational uncertainty mediates the association between perceptions of partner (non)accommodation and relationship satisfaction. In sum, this dissertation support the tenets of CAT and S/P theory of social bonds, and reveals the utility of combining physiology and communication theories to better understand the links between romantic partners’ biology and their communication during conflict conversations. The study provides evidence that the physiology plays an integral role in romantic partners’ relationships and outlines practical advice for relationship nurturance.
... Finally, several rows in Table 2 contain blank cells. These are areas where, as of yet, there has been Diener et al. 1985;Fordyce 1977;Gurin et al. 1960) Social media texts (Collins et al. 2015;Liu et al. 2015;Schwartz et al. 2016;Yang and Srinivasan 2016) Interviews (Frisch 1988;Nave et al. 2008;Neugarten et al. 1961;Thomas and Chambers 1989) Facial behavior (Harker and Keltner 2001;Seder and Oishi 2012) Online behavior (Collins et al. 2015;Kosinski et al. 2013) Cardiovascular activity (Thege et al. 2014) Dispositional affect Multi-item (Bradburn 1969;Diener et al. 2010;Izard et al. 1974;Kammann and Flett 1983;Spielberger and Gorsuch 1983;Watson et al. 1988;Zuckerman and Lubin 1985) Open-ended survey questions (Sandvik et al. 1993) -Neuroendoctrine activity (Ryff et al. 2004) Moods Single-item (Russel et al. 1989) Multi-item (Boyle 1992;Diener et al. 2010;Huelsman et al. 1998;Izard et al. 1974;McNair et al. 1981;Shacham 1983;Watson et al. 1988) Blog posts (Bollen et al. 2011;Keshtkar and Inkpen 2009;Mishne 2005) social media updates (Dodds et al. 2011;Golder and Facial behavior (Ekman et al. 1990;Mauss et al. 2005) Neuroendoctrine activity (Denson et al. 2009;Depue and Collins 1999;Dickerson and Kemeny 2004;Grewen et al. 2005;Katz 1999;Kosfeld et al. 2005;Mazur and Booth 1998;Mehta and Josephs 2006;Zilioli et al. 2014) Psychological well-being Multi-item (Ryff 1989a) Interview (Nave et al. 2008) Social media (Alharthi et al. 2017) Behavioral markers (Nave et al. 2008) Cardiovascular activity (Ryff et al. 2004;Thege et al. 2014), Neurological activity (Urry et al. 2004) Neuroendocrine activity (Ryff et al. 2004) Job satisfaction Single-item measure (Gardner et al. 1998;Kunin 1955;Nagy 2002) Multi-item (Bowling et al. 2018;Brayfield and Rothe 1951;Cammann et al. 1979;Hackman and Oldham 1976;Ironson et al. 1989;Russell et al. 2004;Spector 1985; Thompson and Phua 2012;Warr et al. 1979 (Demerouti et al. 2002;Harter et al. 2002;Maslach and Jackson 1981;Rich et al. 2010;Schaufeli et al. 2002Schaufeli et al. , 2006Schaufeli et al. , 2017 --Cardiovascular activity (Seppälä et al. 2012;Van Doornen et al. 2009) Note. * The references for the state-like constructs of job moods and job emotions are the same as those for the trait-like construct of dispositional job affect. ...
... Physiological measures are regularly used to measure emotions. For instance, emotional valence and arousal have been linked to neuroendocrine activity, e.g., cortisol levels (Denson et al. 2009;Dickerson and Kemeny 2004), testosterone (Mazur and Booth 1998;Mehta and Josephs 2006;Zilioli et al. 2014), oxytocin (Grewen et al. 2005;Kosfeld et al. 2005), dopamine (Depue and Collins 1999) and serotonin (Katz 1999), electrodermal activity, e.g., skin conductance response and skin conductance level (Akinola 2010;Kreibig 2010;Sequeira et al. 2009;Weinberger et al. 1979), cardiovascular activity, e.g., systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability, cardiac efficiency and respiration (Akinola 2010;Kreibig 2010;Shiota et al. 2011) and neurological activity (Sato et al. 2004;Vytal and Hamann 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Worker well-being is a hot topic in organizations, consultancy and academia. However, too often, the buzz about worker well-being, enthusiasm for new programs to promote it and interest to research it, have not been accompanied by universal enthusiasm for scientific measurement. Aim to bridge this gap, we address three questions. To address the question ‘What is worker well-being?’, we explain that worker well-being is a multi-facetted concept and that it can be operationalized in a variety of constructs. We propose a four-dimensional taxonomy of worker well-being constructs to illustrate the concept’s complexity and classify ten constructs within this taxonomy. To answer the question ‘How can worker well-being constructs be measured?’, we present two aspects of measures: measure obtrusiveness (i.e., the extent to which obtaining a measure interferes with workers’ experiences) and measure type (i.e., closed question survey, word, behavioral and physiological). We illustrate the diversity of measures across our taxonomy and uncover some hitherto under-appreciated avenues for measuring worker well-being. Finally, we address the question ‘How should a worker well-being measure be selected?’ by discussing conceptual, methodological, practical and ethical considerations when selecting a measure. We summarize these considerations in a short checklist. It is our hope that with this study researchers – working in organizations, in academia or both – will feel more competent to find effective strategies for the measurement worker well-being and eventually make policies and choices with a better understanding of what drives worker well-being.
... Two bodies of literature support the idea that "extreme" conceptions of manhood are the most relevant way to assess masculine identity: measures attempting to quantify masculine identity as they relate to nonphysiological measures of health outcomes (Addis & Mahalik, 2003;Himmelstein & Sanchez, 2016a, 2016bHunt, Lewars, Emslie, & Batty, 2007;Mahalik, Burns, & Syzdek, 2007), and research looking at testosterone as a "proxy" for masculine identity and cortisol response (Caswell, Bosson, Vandello, & Sellers, 2014;Mehta, Jones, & Josephs, 2008;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). The first set of studies (Addis & Mahalik, 2003;Himmelstein & Sanchez, 2016a, 2016bHunt et al., 2007;Mahalik et al., 2007;Springer & Mouzon, 2011) suggest that "extreme" or "strong" beliefs about masculine identity are associated with everyday health behaviors, risk taking, and interaction with the medical system. ...
... The first set of studies (Addis & Mahalik, 2003;Himmelstein & Sanchez, 2016a, 2016bHunt et al., 2007;Mahalik et al., 2007;Springer & Mouzon, 2011) suggest that "extreme" or "strong" beliefs about masculine identity are associated with everyday health behaviors, risk taking, and interaction with the medical system. The second body of literature that supports the use of "extreme" masculine identity examines testosterone as a predictor of cortisol response (Caswell et al., 2014;Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). It is very common for these studies to dichotomize testosterone levels to indicate high versus low testosterone (which the authors suggest as a proxy for measuring a "masculine" individual) and find different cortisol responses. ...
Article
In this study, we use an experimental framework to fill three existing gaps in the masculinities and health literatures. First, we examine the impact of masculinity threats on cortisol reactivity to understand how hegemonic masculinity gets “under the skin” to affect men’s health. Second, we test two variations of a masculinity threat, which represents an important methodological advance to understand which type of threat is most stressful. Third, we examine whether precarious manhood beliefs (agreement with the idea that manhood is a fleeting state that can be lost) moderate physiological reactivity to masculinity threats, to understand who might be most vulnerable to health consequences of masculinity norms. We found that men who most strongly subscribe to precarious manhood beliefs exhibited reactivity to a dropping masculinity threat (initially high score that drops from a score of 80 to a score of 25 during the experimental manipulation), but not a low masculinity threat (score that remains at 25 during the experimental manipulation) or any control conditions. Our results suggest that men who most strongly subscribe to precarious manhood beliefs may be most at risk for health problems associated with stress after a loss of masculinity status, rather than individuals with consistently low masculinity status.
... This link, however, appears dependent on the outcome, decisiveness, and opponent in the competitions. When given the opportunity to play against the same opponent, testosterone changes positively predicted willingness to compete, but only among those who initially lost against the opponent (Mehta and Josephs, 2006). In this case, measurement of willingness to compete was assessed just 15 min after the post-competition saliva sample was obtained. ...
... In this work, we found that testosterone rapidly (within 30 min) increased aggressive behaviour in young men (n = 308), an effect that was particularly pronounced among men with high-risk personality profiles (dominant, impulsive, independent) and fewer CAG repeats within the androgen receptor gene (Geniole et al., unpublished). Again, the main effect of testosterone on aggression was relatively weak, and not statistically significant (r = 0.11) The time course of the effects of testosterone on aggression are consistent with correlational evidence in which acute rises in testosterone rapidly modulate subsequent competitive and aggressive behaviours (Carré et al., 2013Mehta and Josephs, 2006). The latter findings also highlight the important interactive effects of drug condition, genetic polymorphism of the AR, and personality traits in rapidly potentiating aggressive behaviour in healthy young men (see below for more examples of individual difference and social/contextual moderators). ...
Article
It is well documented that testosterone concentrations change rapidly within reproductively relevant contexts (e.g., competition, mate-seeking). It has been argued that such rapid changes in testosterone may serve to adaptively fine-tune ongoing and/or future social behaviour according to one's social environment. In this paper, we review human correlational and experimental evidence suggesting that testosterone fluctuates rapidly in response to competition and mate-seeking cues, and that such acute changes may serve to modulate ongoing and/or future social behaviours (e.g., risk-taking, competitiveness, mate-seeking, and aggression). Some methodological details, which limit interpretation of some of this human work, are also discussed. We conclude with a new integrative model of testosterone secretion and behaviour, the Fitness Model of Testosterone Dynamics. Although we focus primarily on human aggression in this review, but we also highlight research on risk-taking, competitiveness, and mate-seeking behaviour.
... This is a fundamental gap in the literature, as fluctuations in testosterone and dominance behaviors or emotional state do not always covary on the same timescale (Crewther et al., 2016), especially around competition (Shearer et al., 2015;West et al., 2014), with added heterogeneity across individuals . Testosterone also affects the motivational circuitry via rapid and delayed pathways (Wood and Stanton, 2012), thereby mapping onto future behaviors and performance on timescales spanning several minutes to hours, or even days, later (Booth et al., 1989;Carré et al., 2013;Crewther and Cook, 2012;Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Zilioli and Watson, 2014). To capture these complexities, a more detailed analysis of the time-lagged effects of testosterone and motivation on each other is needed. ...
... The strategy designed to enhance motivation produced a larger testosterone stress response (3 days later) and a higher pre-match testosterone concentration (6-7 days later), which coincided with better match performance. Lab-based competition provides further support for lagged behavioral effects on testosterone (Carré et al., 2013;Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Zilioli and Watson, 2014). The actual mechanism/s involved are still unclear, especially as the linkage identified herein spanned (existed) across a wide time-lagged continuum, but could entail one or more structural, functional or developmental connections between testosterone and brain reward centres (e.g., basolateral amygdala, meso-limbic and meso-cortical, prefrontal-amygdala coupling/decoupling) that drive social approach and avoidance behaviors (Enter et al., 2016;Spielberg et al., 2015;Terburg and van Honk, 2013), including effects mediated by the dopamine and stress systems. ...
Article
In sport, testosterone has been positioned as a substrate for motivation with both directional and time dependencies. However, evidence is scarce when considering the complexities of competitive sport and no work has explicitly modeled these dependencies. To address these gaps, we investigated the bidirectional and time-dependent interrelationships between testosterone and training motivation in an elite rugby environment. Thirty-six male athletes were monitored across training weeks before and after eight international rugby matches. Pre-breakfast measures of salivary testosterone and training motivation (1–10 rating) were taken on training, competition, and recovery days (up to 40 tests). Using a continuous-time (CT) model, within-person estimates of autoregressive effects (persistence) and cross-lagged effects (relationships) were derived. A stronger, more persistent temporal association was identified for testosterone than for motivation. Cross-lagged effects verified that training motivation was positively related to testosterone at latter time points (p < 0.001). Discrete-time analyses revealed a non-linear association; increasing in strength from a zero-time lag to peak after 2.83 days (standardized effect = 0.25), before dissipation over longer lagged intervals. The testosterone relationship with ensuing training motivation was also positive, but non-significant. Match effects also appeared (p < 0.001) with a predicted decline in training motivation, but a rise in testosterone, at match onset. In summary, a positive association emerged between within-person fluctuations in self-appraised motivation to train and testosterone concentration in an elite rugby environment. The lagged, non-linear nature of this relationship and match predictions on both outcomes support, and extend, theoretical models linking testosterone and competitive behaviors.
... Research has shown that testosterone levels fluctuate with social challenges (challenge hypothesis; Wingfield et al., 1990;Archer, 2006;Wobber et al., 2010) and that these fluctuations predict competitionrelated motivations (e.g., Carré and McCormick, 2008;Eisenegger et al., 2017;Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006), performance , and behaviors (e.g., aggression, Carré et al., 2009;Geniole et al., 2013; see also for recent reviews Geniole and Carré, 2018;Zilioli and Bird, 2017). Nevertheless, the direction and magnitude of effects often depended on the individual's status within the hierarchy, differing for those who recently won or lost a competition Mehta and Josephs, 2006; for review Carré and Olmstead, 2015;Casto and Mehta, 2018; but also see, Carré et al., 2013) 1 . ...
... Research has shown that testosterone levels fluctuate with social challenges (challenge hypothesis; Wingfield et al., 1990;Archer, 2006;Wobber et al., 2010) and that these fluctuations predict competitionrelated motivations (e.g., Carré and McCormick, 2008;Eisenegger et al., 2017;Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006), performance , and behaviors (e.g., aggression, Carré et al., 2009;Geniole et al., 2013; see also for recent reviews Geniole and Carré, 2018;Zilioli and Bird, 2017). Nevertheless, the direction and magnitude of effects often depended on the individual's status within the hierarchy, differing for those who recently won or lost a competition Mehta and Josephs, 2006; for review Carré and Olmstead, 2015;Casto and Mehta, 2018; but also see, Carré et al., 2013) 1 . Overall, these findings are consistent with the Biosocial Model of Status (Mazur, 1985), suggesting that changes in testosterone following a victory-equivalent to attaining higher status-may motivate status-relevant behavior (e.g., decisions to compete) to defend and attain higher status positions, but changes following a defeat may inhibit status-relevant behavior to avoid further status loss and harm (see Eisenegger et al., 2011). ...
... Testosterone has been found to rise in anticipation of and during competitions and fluctuate dependent on competitive outcomes (Casto & Edwards, 2016;Cheng et al., 2018;Geniole et al., 2017;van der Meij et al., 2011). Testosterone responses to competitions, in turn, have been associated with increases in competitive behavior particularly in males (Carré & McCormick, 2008;Casto et al., 2020;Mehta & Josephs, 2006). However, other studies indicate that higher testosterone relates to avoiding competitions in certain situations, presumably to prevent loss of status under conditions of status threat (Mehta et al., 2008;Mehta, Snyder, et al., 2015; and, in two experiments, testosterone treatment in men did not increase competitive behavior (Nadler et al., 2021). ...
... Specifically, the present results suggest that social status does not indiscriminately increase or decrease competitive behavior; rather, strategic preferences to compete depend on interactions among testosterone and cortisol. Basal testosterone and cortisol levels can be considered biological individual differences (Liening et al., 2010;Mehta et al., 2008;Sellers et al., 2007) that weakly correlate with self-report measures (Grebe et al., 2019;Sundin et al., 2021) and operate largely outside of conscious awareness (Akinola et al., 2016;Josephs et al., 2006;Schultheiss et al., 2005;Terburg et al., 2012). Hence, hormones may be critical to advance theories of hierarchy and competition given the unique role of hormones in influencing behavior beyond standard self-report measures. ...
Article
Testosterone has been theorized to direct status-seeking behaviors, including competitive behavior. However, most human studies to date have adopted correlational designs, and findings across studies are inconsistent. This experiment (n = 115) pharmacologically manipulated men's testosterone levels prior to a mixed-gender math competition and examined basal cortisol (a hormone implicated in stress and social avoidance) and context cues related to an opponent's perceived status (an opponent's gender or a win/loss in a prior competition) as factors that may moderate testosterone's impact on competitive behavior. We test and find support for the hypothesis that testosterone given to low-cortisol men evokes status-seeking behavior, whereas testosterone given to high-cortisol men evokes status-loss avoidance. In the initial rounds of competition, testosterone's influence on competitive decisions depended on basal cortisol and opponent gender. After providing opponent-specific win-lose feedback, testosterone's influence on decisions to reenter competitions depended on basal cortisol and this objective cue to status, not gender. Compared to placebo, men given exogenous testosterone who were low in basal cortisol showed an increased tendency to compete against male and high-status opponents relative to female and low-status opponents (status-seeking). Men given exogenous testosterone who were high in basal cortisol showed the opposite pattern-an increased tendency to compete against female and low-status opponents relative to male and high-status opponents (status-loss avoidance). These results provide support for a context-dependent dual-hormone hypothesis: Testosterone flexibly directs men's competitive behavior contingent on basal cortisol levels and cues that signal an opponent's status. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... The biosocial model of status suggests a reciprocal relationship between status-seeking behavior and T. While T increases in response to a win promote further status-seeking behavior, depressed T levels during failure or status loss fulfil an adaptive function in promoting submissive/avoidance behavior. In fact, the stronger the T decrease in response to a defeat, the less these losers were willing to engage in future contests (Mehta and Josephs, 2006). Studies using T administration revealed evidence for high T levels enhancing one's vigilance for angry faces (Hermans et al., 2008) and facilitating approach behavior towards threatening social stimuli (Enter et al., 2014;Radke et al., 2015). ...
... With the idea of a reciprocal relationship between T and statusseeking behavior, the biosocial model of status offers an explanation for the functional significance of T changes (Mazur and Booth, 1998;Mehta and Josephs, 2006). A T decrease following a status loss is thought to facilitate submissive behavior. ...
Article
Providing negative feedback can be demanding, as it typically requires dealing with multiple negative emotions. The first aim of this study was to transfer this work-related task to a new laboratory protocol and to investigate short-term hormonal changes among feedback providers. The second aim was to test if such hormonal stress responses can be attenuated through a priori instructions on how to regulate emotions. Each of 150 participants (51% women) provided eight saliva samples before, during, and after anticipating and conducting a negative feedback conversation with a professional actor who displayed negative emotional reactions. Participants were divided into four conditions regarding the way they were instructed to regulate their emotions: expressive suppression (keeping a neutral expression); cognitive reappraisal (staying task-oriented and emotionally distanced); affect utilization (moving towards and using emotions); or control condition. By means of three-phase spline growth models, latent growth factors during baseline, stress response, and recovery were specified. Providing negative feedback was followed by significant temporary testosterone decreases as well as cortisol increases. Testosterone (but not cortisol) responses were attenuated when feedback providers had been instructed to either follow a cognitive reappraisal or affect utilization strategy. This study provides evidence that a typical managerial task, that is, having to provide negative feedback, is a testosterone- and cortisol-relevant experience. Down-regulation of an individual's emotional involvement through reappraisal, as well as the newly introduced technique of moving towards and making use of the interaction partner's emotions (affect utilization), revealed consequences in terms of attenuating the testosterone response to stress.
... In Study 2 (males only), participants chose whether or not to re-enter a competition against the same opponent after winning or losing. Choosing to challenge an opponent to a re-match after losing can be considered a status-seeking behavior because it may enable upward advancement in the social hierarchy (Mehta & Josephs, 2006). Both studies found testosterone × cortisol interactions consistent with the dual-hormone hypothesis: Higher basal testosterone levels were related to more dominant leadership behaviors (e.g. ...
Article
The challenge hypothesis makes specific predictions about the association between testosterone and status-seeking behaviors, but the findings linking testosterone to these behaviors are inconsistent. The dual-hormone hypothesis was developed to help explain these inconsistencies. Specifically, according to this hypothesis, testosterone's association with status-seeking behavior depends on levels of cortisol. Here, we (1) describe the dual-hormone hypothesis in relation to the challenge hypothesis; (2) review recent studies that tested the dual-hormone hypothesis as well as meta-scientific evidence of heterogeneous dual-hormone findings across studies; (3) discuss potential explanations for this heterogeneity, including methodological considerations, contextual factors, and individual differences; and (4) provide recommendations for new work aimed at testing and extending the dual-hormone hypothesis.
... One apparent generalization based on a meta-analysis of relevant studies (ibid.) is that male testosterone levels rise slightly in anticipation of sports competition; they also increase from before to after the competition, with the increase greater in winners than in losers, although variation in personality, in attribution of causality for the outcome, and other factors can influence the magnitude of change. Additionally, losing sometimes decreases testosterone, although this effect may occur only in individuals that attribute their losses to intrinsic factors (e.g., Mehta and Josephs 2006), and drops in testosterone in association with high social anxiety can make losers less willing to compete again (Maner et al. 2008). Differential effects of winning and losing like these, if persistent, could help to produce the kind of selfreinforcement that Hemelrijk envisions. ...
... However, hormones not only influence behaviour, but are in turn affected by behaviour and environmental forces operating in a reciprocal fashion with the social context (Mazur & Booth, 1998). For instance, Oyegbile & Marler (2005) observed that those males of the California mouse that won previous contests had an increase in their T levels that reinforce the probability of winning a future encounter; similar results are reported for humans by Mehta & Josephs (2006). These results suggest that a change in T levels, as an outcome of a competition, affect the consequent motivation to compete again, and that the result of the next competition might, in turn, affect changes in T levels. ...
Article
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The development of indirect mechanisms of intrasexual competition (e.g., visual identification of possible rivals) could be related to personality traits such as aggressiveness and self-esteem. However, the study of endocrine changes associated to indirect mechanisms of intrasexual competition is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in testosterone levels after a rival choice test in men and how intrasexual competitiveness, aggressiveness, and self-esteem modulate these changes. A group of 160 healthy men answered four personality questionnaires, participated in a rival choice test, and donated saliva samples to measure the changes in their testosterone levels. We found a significant decrease in testosterone levels of men with lower intrasexual competitiveness, but testosterone levels remained stable in competitive men. Non-significant results were found for aggressiveness and self-esteem. These decreases in testosterone levels could be interpreted as an adaptation aimed to reduce costs in male-male contests in Western modern societies.
... Research over several decades has tested the predictions of this model in humans, and recent meta-analytic findings show that on the whole, competition winners show larger increases in testosterone than losers ("the winner-loser effect"; Geniole et al., 2017). Moreover, research has found that a competition-induced increase in testosterone pre dicts outcomes relevant for competition, such as competitive motivation (Mehta & Josephs, 2006;Carré & McCormick, 2008), physical strength (Cook & Crewther, 2012b), and aggression (see Geniole et al., 2019a for meta-analysis; for reviews, see Carré & Olm stead, 2015;Zilioli & Bird, 2017; see Carré, Robinson, & Reside, this volume for a more detailed description of these findings). The winner-loser effect shows significant hetero geneity in effects, however, suggesting the presence of moderators for the relationship between competition and testosterone change (Geniole et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Competition is a defining feature of most living organisms. Among humans, the engagement in, and the associated outcomes of, competition (i.e., win or loss) can hold important consequences for survival, individual and group status, and mating-related opportunities. As such, considerable research efforts have been devoted to identifying and delineating the factors that influence human competitive decision-making. The steroid hormone testosterone, in particular, has been identified as one such factor, not only influencing competitive decision-making and behavior, but also responding flexibly to competitive cues and outcomes to then feedback to ongoing pursuits. Growing evidence suggests that the extent to which testosterone exerts its effects may depend on variables across a number of domains, such as individual preferences or dispositions, social cues, and other hormones. This chapter provides an overview of such competitive biopsychology with a focus on men’s testosterone dynamics. The authors provide a brief introduction to testosterone, and a summary of some of the key theoretical approaches to understanding testosterone dynamics in humans, followed by an overview of correlational and experimental studies that examine the independent and interactive effects of testosterone on competition and competition-related variables.
... In line with this, Pound, Penton-Voak, and Surridge (2009) found evidence for a link between facial dominance and T reactivity in men (N ¼ 57) after having engaged in a competitive task, but no association with baseline T. The effects of T, however, are not restricted to physical characteristics. For example, Mehta and Josephs (2006) found T changes to predict motivation to compete again in male-male competitions among men who lost an initial competition (N ¼ 57). In another similar study, increases in T (but not baseline T) predicted aggressive behavior in male losers of a dyadic competition (n ¼ 39, Carré, Putnam, & McCormick, 2009). ...
Article
Recent studies suggest that both facial and bodily dominance promote high status positions and predict status-seeking behaviors such as aggression and social dominance. An evolutionarily relevant context in which associations between these dominance signals and status outcomes may be prevalent are face-to-face status contests. The present study examined whether facial and bodily dominance predicted success in dyadic competitions (one physical discipline, arm wrestling, and three nonphysical disciplines) in men (N = 125) in a controlled laboratory setting. Men's bodies and faces were independently rated for physical dominance, and associations of these ratings with contest outcomes as well as mediating and moderating variables (such as physical strength, body height, trait dominance, baseline and reactive testosterone) were examined. Both facial and bodily dominance positively predicted success in the physical discipline, mediated by physical strength, but not in the three nonphysical disciplines. Our findings demonstrate that facial and bodily physical dominance may be honest signals for men's formidability and hence status potential, at least in a physically competitive context.
... As such, real-life tournaments such as field hockey, tennis, chess, and basketball [1,9,32,44], have revealed some of the largest effect sizes. In contrast, laboratory settings involving, for instance, playing video games, have repeatedly failed to confirm a winner/loser effect [46][47][48]67]. These latter studies also serve as examples of laboratory competitions that failed to produce any substantial T increase in their participants at all, irrespective of their being winners or losers. ...
Article
Two main hypotheses have been formulated to explain short-term testosterone responses to competitions. The challenge hypothesis and the biosocial model of status make different predictions concerning the point of time, direction, and meaning of hormonal changes. This field study investigated whether testosterone reacts to experiences of challenge during the early stages of a competition or to experiences of status change as a consequence of the competition's outcome. Over a period of 28 days, approximately 2000 salivary testosterone samples were collected from 82 football fans (53% men), while they were watching the matches of their favorite national team during the 2014 World Cup. Conducting repeated measurements across seven competitive events (i.e., matches) and over the course of each match allowed us to split vicarious experiences during each competition into phases of challenge and phases of status change. For both sexes, the results revealed discriminable testosterone trajectories depending on whether the fans experienced highly competitive matches or quick victories. By use of a discontinuous change model, maximal testosterone increases were detected during experiences of challenge. In contrast, a return to pre-contest baseline testosterone levels was initiated as soon as a status gain became certain. Testosterone responsiveness was partly moderated by the subjective importance of the competitive event. Thus, this study provides evidence in favor of the challenge hypothesis and emphasizes the value of conducting high-resolution within-subject designs to further explain the adaptive meaning of androgen responses.
... Hladina v krevním řečišti koreluje s celkovým testosteronem ve slinách (0,92), s volným testosteronem ve slinách (0,83) (Johnson, Joplin, Burrin, 1987). obecně se počítá s přibližně 5 až 10minutovou prodlevou, než se testosteron dostane do slin (Mehta, Josephs, 2006). V situacích obvykle asociovaných s možnou agresí může docházet ke zvýšení hladiny testosteronu a již pouhý prožitek situace blízké agresivnímu chování může způsobit zvýšení koncentrace hormonu (Geen, 2001). ...
Article
Objectives. The aim of the study was to verify the frustration potential of the Rosenzweig picture frustration test, PFT (C-W), in the context of changes in the secretion of the hormones testosterone and cortisol. Sample and setting. The study cohort consisted of young adults (N = 69) aged on average 21.8 years who were subjected to psychodiag-nostic testing during interval saliva sampling to establish the dynamics of changes in hormone levels of testosterone and cortisol. Hypotheses. There is an increase in the levels of testosterone and cortisol between samplings before and after the administration of PFT (C-W) in the experimental group in comparison with the control group. The study observes whether the participants in the experimental group exhibiting an increase in testosterone in samplings before and after the administration of PFT (C-W) achieve a significantly higher PFT (C-W) scores than those who do not exhibit an increase in testosterone, and whether there is a positive correlation between the increase in testosterone level before and after the administration of PFT (C-W). Statistical analysis. The values of the model parameters and their statistical significance were analysed in the environment of the statistical program R using the lme4 libraries, statistical Linear Mixed-Effects Model was used. Results. The frustration potential of PFT (C-W) could not be demonstrated convincingly with the biomarkers measured. A separate version of PFT (C-W) – F was developed, with modifications of verbal stimuli in order to eliminate its frustration potential. The results suggest that PFT (C-W) – F displays a tendency to a more pronounced frustration potential than the original method. Study limitation. The total number of participants was limited by the difficulty in performing biochemical analyses; the sample studied is not representative. © 2018, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. All rights reserved.
... In another study (Carré, Baird-Rowe, & Hariri, 2014), men's (n = 42, but not women's, n = 41) decreased trust ratings of emotionally neutral faces were predicted by their T increases, but not baseline T, after having engaged in the PSAP. In one of the first studies on the effects of competition-induced T dynamics on behaviour (Mehta & Josephs, 2006), T changes in males (N = 57) after having engaged in a rigged one-on-one competition predicted the motivation to compete again, rather than doing a cooperative task after the initial competition, in losers, but not winners. The authors interpreted the findings as losers trying to regain status (after a loss), which is mediated by changes in T. In a similar study (Carré et al., 2009), both male and female participants performed a (same-sex) dyadic competition (N = 77). ...
Article
Full-text available
Increases in men's testosterone (T) levels after intrasexual competitions and exposure to females facilitate competitive and courtship behaviours, suggesting T reactivity should affect relevant personality state changes. How exactly T reactivity, also under potential buffering effects of cortisol (C), relates to personality state changes is unclear. In a preregistered study, we aimed at inducing T increases in young men (N = 165) through dyadic intrasexual competitions while exposed to a female experimenter. We investigated self-reported and video-based observer-rated personality state changes, captured by the interpersonal circumplex and social impressions, in relation to hormonal levels. Results revealed increases in self-reported competitiveness and observer-rated self-assurance, relative to a control group, moderated by T reactivity and partly by T × C interactions, providing insights into hormone-personality response-links.
... There is reason to believe Rob may experience testosterone reactivity (i.e., relatively positive changes in testosterone). Testosterone is a hormone often associated with competition and aggression outside the context of a close relationship (Archer, 2006;Carré and McCormick, 2008;Carré et al., 2011;Mazur and Booth, 1998;Mehta and Josephs, 2006). Specifically, several theoretical perspectives imply that testosterone reactivity serves adaptive functions in the context of social challenge or threat (Archer, 2006; van Anders et al., 2011;Wingfield et al., 1990) by preparing the individual for possible aggression or competition (Carré et al., 2011). ...
Article
When attempting to resolve relationship problems, individuals in close relationships sometimes challenge their partners with statements that oppose their partner's point of view. Such oppositional behaviors may undermine those partners' relational value and threaten their status within the relationship. We examined whether perceptions of opposition from a partner during a series of problem-solving interactions were associated with reactivity in testosterone levels and whether those associations were different for men and women. Fifty newlywed couples discussed four marital problems. Each member of the couple reported how much oppositional behavior they perceived from their partner during the discussions. Pre- and post-discussion saliva samples were assayed for testosterone. For men, but not for women, perceptions of oppositional behavior were associated with heightened testosterone reactivity, and this result replicated across three different measures of testosterone reactivity. Findings were specific to men's perceptions of oppositional behavior, and held controlling for objective measures of oppositional behavior coded from videos of the conversations. Results highlight the benefits of considering pair-bonded relationships as a novel context for investigating associations involving hormones and behavior. Findings also raise the possibility that sex differentiated hormonal reactions to opposition partly explain why conflict among heterosexual partners can be so divisive.
... In another study (Carré, Baird-Rowe, & Hariri, 2014), men's (n = 42, but not women's, n = 41) decreased trust ratings of emotionally neutral faces were predicted by their T increases, but not baseline T, after having engaged in the PSAP. In one of the first studies on the effects of competition-induced T dynamics on behaviour (Mehta & Josephs, 2006), T changes in males (N = 57) after having engaged in a rigged one-on-one competition predicted the motivation to compete again, rather than doing a cooperative task after the initial competition, in losers, but not winners. The authors interpreted the findings as losers trying to regain status (after a loss), which is mediated by changes in T. In a similar study (Carré et al., 2009), both male and female participants performed a (same-sex) dyadic competition (N = 77). ...
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Increases in human male testosterone (T) levels have been found after intrasexual competitions and exposure to females, facilitating competitive and courtship behaviours. This suggests that T reactivity should affect relevant personality state changes that are also observable to others. How exactly T reactivity, also under potential buffering effects of Cortisol (C), relates to personality state changes is unclear. In a preregistered study, we aimed at inducing T increases in young men (N=165) through dyadic intrasexual competitions while exposed to a female experimenter. We investigated self-reported and video-based observer-rated personality state changes, as captured by the Interpersonal Circumplex and social impressions, in relation to hormonal levels. Results revealed increases in self-reported competitiveness, as well as observer-rated dominance and self-assurance, relative to a control group and moderated by T reactivity and partly by TxC interactions. Thus, male T reactivity in a competitive mating context increased competitiveness/dominance, but did not decrease nurturance. This provides further insights into how hormonal and personality responses to challenges are intertwined in men, and partly supports a role of T in mediating a life history trade-off between mating/competing and parenting, as well as signalling dominance to rivals and potential mates.
... Croson and Gneezy (2009), on the other hand, note that women show lower inclination for competition because of their genetics. Generic makeup, such as the testosterone levels, has shown to be a significant predictor of preference for competition (Mehta and Josephs, 2006). Lower levels of risk aversion are yet another reason cited for above findings. ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to document how male and female managers respond to competition posed by informal firms. Design/methodology/approach The methodology uses the ordered logistic regression and the data provided by the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey to test the arguments for firms headquartered in India. Findings The findings show that firms managed by females are more likely to consider informal competition as a bigger obstacle for their operations than firms managed by males. It also shows that this relationship is more pronounced in provinces with weak institutional infrastructure. Lastly, the paper shows that firms managed by females respond to competition from the informal sector by undertaking more innovations than firms managed by males. Originality/value This research extends the literature on gender differences in response to competition by documenting how female managers respond to external competition in emerging markets.
... These were interpreted as t-values. Furthermore, sample sizes were derived from Mehta and Josephs (2006). 24 Note that the df were calculated using the APIM method, which accounts for the non-independence of observations . ...
Article
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According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, the relationship between testosterone and status-relevant behavior is moderated by cortisol, suggesting this relationship only exists when cortisol is low. In the current study, a meta-analysis (including 30 papers with 33 studies, 49 effect sizes, n = 8538) on the interaction effect of testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior (i.e. status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy) was performed. There was only marginal support for the dual-hormone hypothesis: The effect size of the interaction between testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior was significant but very small (r =-.061, p = .026), which was corroborated by follow-up meta-analyses on simple slopes on low and high cortisol. Effect sizes were largest for direct status measures, although not significantly different from other outcome measures. Similarly, effect sizes seemed larger for men than for women. However, robustness analyses indicated signs of publication bias, enhanced significance due to potential flexibility in data-analysis, and a lack of power of individual studies, emphasizing the need for a large, pre-registered study.
... For example, men whose testosterone levels increased after competing against another man on a laboratory task (the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm, see Geniole et al. 2017 for a review of this method) were more likely to choose to compete again than were men whose testosterone levels did not increase after competing on the initial task (Carré and McCormick 2008). Similarly, the extent to which men's testosterone increases after losing a competitive task against another man is positively related to their willingness to compete again (Carré et al. 2009;Mehta and Josephs 2006). These effects can be modulated by the decisiveness of the victory (Mehta et al. 2015a) and/or men's aggressiveness (Carré and McCormick 2008). ...
Article
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Objectives Many previous studies have investigated relationships between men’s competitiveness and testosterone. For example, the extent of changes in men’s testosterone levels following a competitive task predicts the likelihood of them choosing to compete again. Recent work investigating whether individual differences in men’s testosterone levels predict individual differences in their competitiveness have produced mixed results. Methods In light of the above, we investigated whether men’s (N = 59) scores on the Intrasexual Competitiveness Scale were related to either within-subject changes or between-subject differences in men’s salivary testosterone levels. ResultsMen’s responses on the Intrasexual Competitiveness Scale did not appear to track within-subject changes in testosterone. By contrast with one recent study, men’s Intrasexual Competitiveness Scale also did not appear to be related to individual differences in testosterone. Conclusions Our results present no evidence for associations between men’s testosterone and their responses on the Intrasexual Competitiveness Scale.
... Our results are also in partial disagreement with the finding that competition-related surges in testosterone facilitate further antagonistic behavior (Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Carré et al., 2013), although in the present study aggression was measured during competition rather than after it. Many experimental studies on the topic subject participants to rigged competitions in which they are clear winners or losers (Geniole et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Winners are commonly assumed to compete more aggressively than losers. Here, we find overwhelming evidence for the opposite. We first demonstrate that low-ranking teams commit more fouls than they receive in top-tier soccer, ice hockey, and basketball men’s leagues. We replicate this effect in the laboratory, showing that male participants deliver louder sound blasts to a rival when placed in a low-status position. Using neuroimaging, we characterize brain activity patterns that encode competitive status as well as those that facilitate status-dependent aggression in healthy young men. These analyses reveal three key findings. First, anterior hippocampus and striatum contain multivariate representations of competitive status. Second, interindividual differences in status-dependent aggression are linked with a sharper status differentiation in the striatum and with greater reactivity to status-enhancing victories in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Third, activity in ventromedial, ventrolateral, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is associated with trial-wise increases in status-dependent aggressive behavior. Taken together, our results run counter to narratives glorifying aggression in competitive situations. Rather, we show that those in the lower ranks of skill-based hierarchies are more likely to behave aggressively and identify the potential neural basis of this phenomenon.
... Laboratory studies find that while baseline testosterone (T) levels do not show a consistent association with competitive preferences (Apicella et al., 2011;Zhong et al., 2018), rather it is changes in T levels that serve as a better indicator (Carré and McCormick, 2008;Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Zhong and Fu, 2019;Zilioli and Watson, 2014). Consistent with these findings, predominant theories characterizing the social neuroendocrinology of status, notably the challenge hypothesis and the biosocial model of status, place rises in T levels as indicators of competitive engagement. ...
Article
Competitiveness is an essential feature of human social interactions. Despite an extensive body of research on the underlying psychological and cultural factors regulating competitive behavior, the role of biological factors remains poorly understood. Extant research has focused primarily on sex hormones, with equivocal findings. Here, we examined if intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) – a key regulator of human social behavior and cognition – interacts with changes in endogenous testosterone (T) levels in regulating the willingness to engage in competition. In a double-blind placebo-control design, 204 subjects (102 females) self- administrated OT or placebo and were assessed for their willingness to compete via an extensively-validated economic laboratory competition paradigm, in which, before completing a set of incentivized arithmetic tasks, subjects are asked to decide what percentage of their payoffs will be based on tournament paying-scheme. Salivary T concentrations (n =197) were measured throughout the task to assess endogenous reactivity. Under both OT and placebo, T-reactivity during competition was not associated with competitiveness in females. However, in males, the association between T-reactivity and competitiveness was OT-dependent. That is, males under placebo demonstrated a positive correlation between T-reactivity and the willingness to engage in competition, while no association was observed in males receiving OT. The interaction between OT, T-reactivity, and sex on competitive preferences remained significant even after controlling for potential mediators such as performance, self-confidence, and risk-aversion, suggesting that this three-way interaction effect was specific to competitive motivation rather than to other generalized processes. These findings deepen our understanding of the biological processes underlying human preferences for competition and extend the evidence base for the interplay between hormones in affecting human social behavior.
... regular, semi-final, final) [14,24] and matches played in different locations (home vs. away) [12]. The increase of T levels following matches can be explained by psychological responses to challenging conditions, such as maintaining a high social status and overcoming threats of failure [13,39]. However, dissimilar results were obtained in previous studies assessing the changes in T levels from pre-to post-match values when winning matches [33] or comparing concentrations of winning and losing teams [15], with no changes documented. ...
Article
The aim of this paper was to synthesize the findings on salivary marker responses to the different basketball match typologies. An electronic database search of articles published until October 2020 was performed in PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus and Web of Science. Studies were then screened using pre-defined selection criteria and a subsequent assessment of methodological quality was conducted. Articles matching the selection criteria and methodological quality were included in the systematic review. The electronic database search produced 696 articles. After removing 505 duplicates, 191 articles were included for screening. Screening led to 10 articles that met the inclusion criteria. The main findings revealed that playing a basketball match induced a highly stressful condition reflected by increased post-match cortisol levels regardless of season phase (i.e. regular vs. semi-final vs. final matches), match outcome (i.e. winning vs. losing matches) and location (i.e. home vs. away). Different results were found for testosterone, which showed inconsistent outcomes when measured before and after matches. However, an effect of match location on testosterone levels was observed, with higher concentrations before home matches compared to away matches. Finally, playing basketball matches led to an increase in levels of alpha-amylase, a decrease in interleukin-21 and no changes in immunoglobulin A, total protein and brain-derived-neurotrophic factor. The current results provide a detailed description of salivary markers changes in response to different basketball matches, which can help practitioners to have a better understanding of the basketball performance profile.
... Its levels are positively correlated with a range of cognitive states and behaviors that aid success in competitive situations and conflict. These states and behaviors include implicit power motivation, reduced sensitivity to threat, risk-taking, intuitive (rather than deliberative) and 'hawkish' decision-making, overconfidence, persistence, motivational drive, fearlessness, stress resilience, willingness to enter competitive interactions, and conspicuous consumption to increase perceived status-as evidenced in studies measuring endogenous T levels or natural T reactivity (Apicella et al., 2008;Carré and McCormick, 2008;Coates et al., 2009;Coates et al., 2010;Johnson et al., 2006;Mehta et al., 2017;Mehta and Josephs, 2006;Schultheiss et al., 2004;Schultheiss et al., 2005;Stanton and Schultheiss, 2009;Wu et al., 2017) or using exogenous T administration (Apicella et al., 2015;Hermans et al., 2006;Hermans et al., 2007;Knight et al., 2020;Nave et al., 2017Nave et al., , 2018. ...
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Research has linked hormones to behavioral outcomes in intricate ways, often moderated by psychological dispositions. The associations between testosterone and antisocial or prosocial outcomes also depend on dis-positions relevant to status and dominance. In two studies (N1 = 68, N2 = 83), we investigated whether endogenous testosterone, measured in saliva, and narcissism, a psychological variable highly relevant to status motivation, interactively predicted men's preferences regarding resource allocation. Narcissism moderated the links between testosterone and social value orientation: among low narcissists testosterone negatively predicted generosity in resource allocation and probability of endorsing a prosocial (vs. pro-self) value orientation, whereas among high narcissists testosterone tended to positively predict generosity and the probability of endorsing a prosocial (vs. pro-self) value orientation. We discuss these results as examples of calibrating effects of testosterone on human behavior, serving to increase and maintain social status. We advocate the relevance of psychological dispositions, alongside situations, when examining the role of T in social outcomes.
... Higher T levels after recovery can be explained by higher activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to induce greater anabolic and anti-catabolic processes involved in muscle tissue growth, physical and physiological recovery and remodelling for performance enhancement [58,59]. Considering higher concentration of T before important in-season matches, an increase can be explained by higher readiness to compete against opponents and overcome psychological threats to lose, promoted by increased stress levels [25,63]. ...
Article
Changes in salivary markers have been largely assessed during different modalities of long-term and short-term basketball training across different basketball populations. The aim of this paper was to systematically review the literature assessing changes in salivary markers in basketball following long-term and short-term training periods. An electronic database search of articles published until October 2020 was completed in PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus and Web of Science. Studies were then screened and selected using pre-defined selection criteria with 1080 articles identified. After removing 690 duplicates, 390 articles were included for screening, which revealed 15 articles that met the inclusion criteria. The main findings revealed no changes in testosterone (T), cortisol (C) or their ratio (T:C), while contrasting results were found in immunoglobulin A (IgA) and total protein (TP) levels across long-term periodized training periods in different basketball populations. The analysis of short-term training periods showed that strength-hypertrophy training induced higher C levels compared to a non-exercising day, one-power training and one-endurance training session in female basketball players, while no changes were evident for T and IgA. Moreover, the analysis of salivary markers in response to small-sided games (SSGs) documented a large-to-moderate increase in alpha-amylase (AA) from pre- to post-SSG and inconsistent results of C and T across differently designed SSGs. The current results provide a detailed description of salivary marker changes in response to different basketball long- and short-term training periods, which can help practitioners in designing sound training programmes to optimize players' fitness and health status across different phases of the season.
... The association between testosterone and motivation to compete is not straightforward and is moderated by both person and context factors. For example, Mehta and Josephs (2006) found that, among men who lost a competition, those who increased in testosterone were more likely to choose to compete again than those who decreased in testosterone; testosterone responses did not predict the decision to compete again after winning. By contrast, baseline or exogenous testosterone (as opposed to testosterone changes) seems to predict sensitivity to status threats in women after both victory and defeat. ...
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Objective In humans and other species, winning or losing a competition elicits changes in testosterone that may influence engagement or performance in subsequent competitive events. Furthermore, anticipating or observing competition can change mood and testosterone, suggesting that cognitions surrounding competitive events may at least partially drive specific physiological and emotional responses. In the present study, we investigated the effect of imagined competition on mood and testosterone in women.Methods Participants (62 women) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (high-investment win, high-investment loss, low-investment win, low-investment loss) and were asked to imagine and write about experiencing both the competition and its outcome. Salivary testosterone levels and self-reported mood were assessed before and after the competitive cognition task.ResultsAlthough imagining a competitive scenario was not salient enough to elicit significant changes in testosterone, imagining a high-investment competition and imagining a win each significantly increased feelings of self-assurance. Participants were more likely to write about their motivation to compete again when imagining a loss than when imagining a win, but testosterone did not predict including content about competing again.Conclusions Visualizing oneself winning a contest of personal importance increased feelings of self-assurance in the absence of a testosterone response in women. Future research is needed to determine how the combination of positive mental imagery and physical competition could influence mood and testosterone, and whether self-assurance induced by mental imagery can increase the chance of future victories.
... However, such studies have not examined whether in-game performance affects self-perception of other traits and how these perceptions affect future behavior. There is in fact, evidence that performance in sporting events and competitions, in which competitors gain information on their relative performance, affects individual hormone levels (Geniole, Bird, Ruddick, & Carré, 2017;Slimani et al., 2018) and future performance (Mehta & Josephs, 2006). As a result, it is likely that smaller scale competitions in video games can also have such an effect as seen in Carré, Campbell, Lozoya, Goetz, and Welker (2013). ...
... In men, basal testosterone levels were linked to a preference for entering a competition (Eisenegger et al., 2013, but see Apicella et al. (2011); Carré and McCormick, 2008). Furthermore, competition-induced changes in testosterone concentrations have been found to correlate with physical competitive performance (Casto et al., 2020), as well as one-time willingness to compete again, particularly when the first competition had resulted in a loss (Mehta and Josephs, 2006) or an ambiguous outcome (Carré and McCormick, 2008). Together, these correlational studies suggest that basal levels and competition-induced release of testosterone may promote efforts to regain or solidify social status (Geniole and Carré, 2018; see also Losecaat Vermeer et al. (2020)). ...
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Recent research suggests that when we lack a sense of control, we are prone to motivational failures and early quitting in competitions. Testosterone, on the other hand, is thought to boost competitiveness. Here we investigate the interaction between these factors, testing the testosterone’s potential to enhance persistence in a competition against a stronger opponent, depending on experimentally manipulated perceived control. Healthy participants were administered a single dose of testosterone or placebo. They first underwent a task designed to either induce low or high perceived control and then entered a costly competition against a progressively stronger opponent that they could quit at any time. In the placebo group, men with low perceived control quitted twice as early as those with high perceived control. Testosterone countered this effect, making individuals with low control persist in the competition for as long as those with high perceived control, and did so also despite raising participants’ explicit awareness of the opponents’ advantage. This psychoendocrinological effect was not modulated by basal cortisol levels, CAG repeat polymorphism of the androgen receptor gene, or trait dominance. Our results provide the first causal evidence that testosterone promotes competitive persistence in humans and demonstrate that this effect depends on the psychological state elicited prior to the competition, broadening our understanding of the complex relationships between testosterone and social behaviors.
... Importantly, T reactivity likely serves an adaptive purpose in upregulating behaviors that aid in achieving dominance in the appropriate context (Casto and Edwards 2016a;Casto and Mehta 2019). Indeed, both endogenous increases in T and exogenously administered T appear to positively predict elevated competitive motivation both in terms of the decision to compete as well as the amount of real-time effort or persistence expressed in competition, particularly among men earning status in that context (Carré and McCormick 2008;Casto et al. 2020;Mehta and Josephs 2006;Vermeer et al. 2020). According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, individual differences in basal T positively predict dominance behavior and social status only when basal cortisol levels are relatively low (Mehta and Josephs 2010; for a review, see . ...
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Testosterone (T) fluctuates in response to competitive social interactions, with the direction of change typically depending on factors such as contest outcome. Watching a competition may be sufficient to activate T among fans and others who are invested in the outcome. This study explores the change in T associated with vicarious experiences of competition among combat sport athletes viewing a teammate win or lose and assesses how individual differences in social identification with one’s team relates to these patterns of T reactivity. Twenty-six male combat athletes completed a social identity questionnaire on a neutral day. Later, salivary samples (assayed for T) were obtained before and after athletes viewed a video of a teammate engaged in a formal contest. T reactivity to viewing a teammate compete varied among participants in both the magnitude and direction of change, independent of contest outcome. Individual differences in cognitive centrality, a core feature of social identification, showed a strong positive relationship with T reactivity, particularly if their teammate won. Initial findings suggest that dominance-linked androgen responses associated with watching a teammate win a competition might depend on the belief that team membership is central to one’s own identity. These exploratory results in a small sample of combat athletes should be interpreted with caution. Uncovering the role of social group dynamics in influencing T responses to competition is particularly important in light of the evolutionary history of coalitional combat in humans.
Conference Paper
Competitive E-sport has grown rapidly across the globe. In line with the increase in competitive gaming, the interest into the science underpinning performance has accelerated dramatically in the last decade. Despite the remarkable surge of popularity in E-sports, there is limited academic literature that has explicitly investigated the psychophysiological factors influencing performance of elite level E-sports during competitive gameplay. As E-sports athletes are competing in highly pressurized and competitive environments that are comparable to traditional sports, it is likely that psychophysiological responses exist in an E-sports performance environment. Therefore, it is important to enhance our understanding of these responses that E-sports participants face, because stress and anxiety is likely to have a negatively impact on performance in such an environment. The present review aims to investigate whether playing E-sports in competitive settings is related to psychological and physiological anxiety and stress. Although the existing literature contributes to an initial understanding of psychophysiological anxiety and stress in E-sports, there needs to be further in-depth studies investigating the psychophysiological responses in actual competition.
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Elevated hair cortisol concentrations in children have been linked to several stress-related conditions, including school-related demands. However, little is known about changes in hair testosterone in children. The present study investigated changes in hair cortisol and hair testosterone concentrations in the time course of four months – from summer holidays until mid of autumn of the following school year – in 60, 10–12-year-old (11.31 ± 0.63) school children (29 girls). Children’s mental health was assessed by the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) and related to hair cortisol and hair testosterone levels. Body mass index, waist-to-height ratio, and parental education were evaluated as potential confounders. In girls, the expected increase of hair cortisol concentrations was observed during school as compared to summer holidays, partly accounted for by peer- and emotional problems and the increase of HTC. In boys, hair cortisol and testosterone concentrations were significantly higher. Hair cortisol increased only slightly, while hair testosterone decreased significantly during school. The findings suggest a reciprocal influence of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, differentially affecting girls’ and boys’ hormone production in response to environmental changes.
Article
Performance ranking is common across a range of professional and recreational domains. Even when it has no economic consequences but does order people in terms of their social standing, anticipating such performance ranking may affect how people feel and perform. We examined this possibility by asking human subjects to execute a simple cognitive task while anticipating their performance being ranked by an outside evaluator. We measured baseline and postperformance levels of testosterone and cortisol. We find that (1) anticipating performance ranking reduces testosterone and increases cortisol, (2) both these hormonal responses benefit cognitive performance, which explains why (3) anticipation of being ranked by a peer increases cognitive performance.
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Creativity, unconventionality, rebellion, innovation and imagination are some of the closest terms we can associate with guerilla marketing. The purpose of the paper Social Media Marketing: Implementation of Guerrilla Marketing among Instagram Influencers is to present influencer marketing as a necessary marketing strategy that makes company brands more visible to a large number of people and allows their products and services to be placed on the mass market. Numerous companies are increasingly resorting to this way of advertising where they enter into partnerships with influencers whose profiles are widely visited and who will best present and display their name and their products. Doing business with influencers on Instagram has proven to be a great way to sell and promote a brand, and the closeness that influencers achieve with their followers significantly affects the way potential customers perceive a brand.
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The brain, behavior, and neuroendocrine system have coevolved to support human group living. Recent developments in behavioral endocrinology over last several decades increasingly point to the powerful role of social experiences in influencing and being influenced by hormones. Here, we review the accumulated empirical developments that link two hormones—testosterone and cortisol—to social competition and affiliation. We suggest that testosterone and cortisol both influence and reflect the dynamics of human social behavior in domains of competition and affiliation, albeit in very different ways. The evidence supports the notion that testosterone may function as a competition hormone that calibrates psychological systems to current social standing and adaptively guide status-seeking efforts. As for cortisol, much evidence reveals that cortisol modulates affiliative behaviors in ways that appear to be adaptive; cortisol is elevated during times of social threat, social isolation, and loneliness, possibly to mobilize responses geared toward seeking coping and support, but is dampened when individuals gain social control and affiliative support. Still, more work is needed to unpack the complex interplay between neurobiology and human sociality. We end with a number of methodological recommendations on how using salivary bioscience methods may ultimately lead to a richer understanding of the complex reciprocal ties between biology and human social behavior.
Article
SYNOPSIS Author replies to commentaries on a paper reporting that different crying levels in infant simulators produce divergent testosterone (T) responses. Major points considered include that: human infant crying is similar to the crying of other mammalian young; increases in T following exposure to infant crying may mobilize paternal protection rather than paternal care; T changes in response to crying are embedded within a larger constellation of interdependent hormonal responses; more refined behavioral measures and more frequent hormone sampling would enhance researchers’ ability to detect individual differences in fathers’ caregiving behavior and make causal inferences. Implications for intervention and parent education are discussed.
Article
Social withdrawal may lead to mental health problems and can have a large impact on a life course, particularly among boys. To support adolescents with social withdrawal, an integrative understanding of the biological bases would be helpful. Social dominance, a possible opposite of social withdrawal, is known to have positive associations with testosterone levels. A previous study suggested that social withdrawal has a negative relationship with sexual maturity among adolescent boys. However, the relationship between social withdrawal and testosterone in adolescence is unknown. This study aimed to examine whether social withdrawal was negatively associated with testosterone levels in early adolescent boys. Salivary samples were collected from 159 healthy early adolescent boys (mean age [standard deviation]: 11.5 [0.73]) selected from participants of the “population-neuroscience study of the Tokyo Teen Cohort” (pn-TTC). Social withdrawal and confounding factors, such as the secondary sexual characteristics and their age in months, were evaluated by self-administered questionnaires completed by the primary parents. The degree of social withdrawal was assessed with the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). Levels of salivary testosterone, and cortisol as a control, were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Logistic regression was conducted to examine the association between social withdrawal and testosterone levels. A higher risk of social withdrawal was associated with a lower salivary testosterone level after adjustment for age in months (odds ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.33-0.94), and the association remained significant after adjusting for body mass index, the degree of anxiety/depression and pubertal stage. Thus, we found a negative relationship between social withdrawal and testosterone levels in early adolescent boys. These findings may help to clarify the biological foundations of and to develop support for social withdrawal.
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Objective The goal of the present study was to extend the findings of the dual-hormone hypothesis (DHH) literature by assessing whether the interaction between testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) is associated with dominance in an adolescent sample via multiple methods of measuring T, C, and dominance, and with pre-registration of hypotheses and analyses.Methods In a sample of 337 adolescents (Mage = 14.98, SD = 1.51; 191 girls) and their caregivers, hormonal assays were obtained from hair and saliva, and dominance behavior was assessed across four operationalizations (behavioral ratings in a leadership task, self- and caregiver reported dominance motivations, and self-reported social potency).ResultsT and C main effects were generally null across hormone and dominance operationalizations, except that observer-rated dominance was negatively associated with salivary T, and social potency was positively associated with salivary T and negatively associated with salivary C. Support for the DHH was weak. Point estimates reflected a small negative T × C interaction for behavioral ratings of dominance, consistent with the DHH, whereas interaction effects for report-based dominance measures were close to zero or positive.Conclusions The results contribute to a growing evidence base suggesting T × C interaction effects are variable across measures and methods used to assess hormones and dominance and highlight the need for comprehensive, multi-method examinations employing best practices in scientific openness and transparency to reduce uncertainty in estimates. Measurement of hormones and dominance outcomes vary across labs and studies, and the largely null results should be considered in that context.
Preprint
Testosterone is associated with status-seeking behaviors such as competition, which may depend on whether one wins or loses status, but also on the stability of one’s status. We examined (1) to what extent testosterone administration affects competition behavior in repeated social contests in men with high or low rank, and (2), whether this relationship is moderated by hierarchy stability, as predicted by the status instability hypothesis. Using a real effort-based design in healthy male participants (N = 173 males), we first found that testosterone (vs. placebo) increased motivation to compete for status, but only in individuals with a low unstable status. A second part of the experiment, tailored to directly compare stable with unstable hierarchies, indicated that exogenous testosterone again increased competitive motivation in individuals with a low unstable status, but decreased competition behavior in men with low stable status. Additionally, exogenous testosterone increased motivation in those with a stable high status. Further analysis suggested that these effects were moderated by individuals’ trait dominance, and genetic differences assessed by the androgen receptor (CAG-repeat) and dopamine transporter (DAT1) polymorphisms. Our study provides evidence that testosterone specifically boosts status-related motivation when there is an opportunity to improve one’s social status. The findings contribute to our understanding of testosterone’s causal role in status-seeking motivation in competition behavior, and indicate that testosterone adaptively increases our drive for high status in a context-dependent manner. We discuss potential neurobiological pathways through which testosterone may attain these effects on behavior.
Article
Social influence is an inevitable part of human social interaction. Although past research has demonstrated that testosterone has a key role in social interaction, no study has examined its role in social influence so far. Building on previous research showing that minority positions are perceived as risky options and that testosterone is positively associated with status seeking and risk-taking, we hypothesized that basal testosterone renders individuals more receptive to minority positions. In two studies, participants (total N = 250) read messages that were supported by either a numerical majority or minority. As hypothesized, individuals’ levels of basal testosterone were positively related to susceptibility to minority influence. In contrast, susceptibility to majority influence was unaffected by basal testosterone. Given the importance of minorities for innovation and change within societies, our results suggest that individuals with high levels of testosterone may play an important role as catalysts of social change.
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Hormones exert powerful, but covert, effects on financial decision-making. These vary according to the context of the decision, the type of decision being made and features of the individual making that decision. There are differences, for example, between rapid decisions made under duress (e.g. trading) and more deliberate ones made cooperatively (e.g. management) and those made by trained professional or financial management in everyday life. This chapter focusses mainly on acute decisions. Most studies have been made on males, who have dominated professional finance. Financial decisions involve both cognition and emotion, though the two are not clearly separable. They involve both risk and reward evaluations, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cortisol and oxytocin, influence both. The rewarding function of money has to be learned, and this involves areas of the brain such as the amygdala, which are heavily influenced by steroid hormones. Decisions are influenced not only by reward (utility) but by emotions (e.g. ‘framing’). Stress, and associated levels of cortisol, can impair attention and risk assessment, and levels alter in response to uncertainty; however more prolonged increases may have different effects on risk appetite and impulsivity. Testosterone enhances competitiveness, aggression, risk appetite and optimism in finance as it does in its major role in reproduction. Testosterone levels are also sensitive to winning or losing, and this may affect subsequent decisions. In females, phases of the menstrual cycle alter risk appetite, which is maximal at midcycle. Oxytocin administration increases trust, an essential ingredient of financial transactions. Within each individual, it is the pattern of these hormones, and how they change, that determines the influence they will have on financial decisions, which should not be underestimated, though their roles have received little consideration in the world of finance.
Article
Impulsivity is regarded as a personality dimension that is associated with fast acting without always thinking of its consequences. Whereas it has been associated with a lot of pathologies, its neural associations and in which way these are related to motivational- and incentive salience, are far from being clear. Furthermore, sex differences suggest some associations with different reactivity across the menstrual cycle in women, hinting to possible hormonal influences. 35 free cycling women were tested in a randomized within-subject design across three cycle-phases, recording an EEG during an Picture-Stroop-Paradigm, measuring gonadal hormones (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone), as well as assessing impulsivity with the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. It was hypothesized that reactivity towards highly salient pictures, indicated by the event related potentials P300 and the late positive potential (LPP), to be differing in dependence of impulsivity. Results reveal associations of high impulsivity with generally lower P300-amplitudes, blunted LPP-responses towards erotic pictures, as well as lower mean testosterone concentrations in female subjects. This is especially interesting in the context of motivational salience and might be indicating a higher threshold of activation needed in high impulsive individuals - being in line with clinical observations with associations of addictions and other disorders.
Preprint
Testosterone has long been thought to increase risk-taking, but evidence supporting this association is mixed. Instead, testosterone’s key role may be to promote status-seeking behaviors. Here, we examined to what extent testosterone administration affects risk preferences for both monetary and social status outcomes, and whether this relationship is moderated by an individuals’ social status. Male participants (N=166) experienced high or low status in a competition task and then played two risk tasks; one involving gambles with only monetary outcomes, and another one involving gambles with non-monetary outcomes that influenced their social rank. We found that testosterone (vs. placebo) altered risk preferences for gains and losses in social rank, but not for monetary gains and losses. Specifically, testosterone increased risk-taking to increase social rank in individuals with high, but not low social status. These results demonstrate a context-dependent role of testosterone in regulating risk-taking for social status.
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A combination of field and laboratory investigations has revealed that the temporal patterns of testosterone (T) levels in blood can vary markedly among populations and individuals, and even within individuals from one year to the next. Although T is known to regulate reproductive behavior (both sexual and aggressive) and thus could be expected to correlate with mating systems, it is clear that the absolute levels of T in blood are not always indicative of reproductive state. Rather, the pattern and amplitude of change in T levels are far more useful in making predictions about the hormonal basis of mating systems and breeding strategies. In these contexts we present a model that compares the amplitude of change in T level with the degree of parental care shown by individual males. On the basis of data collected from male birds breeding in natural or captive conditions, polygynous males appear less responsive to social environmental cues than are monogamous males. This model indicates that there may be widely different hormonal responses to male-male and male-female interactions and presumably equally plastic neural mechanisms for the transduction of these signals into endocrine secretions. Furthermore, evidence from other vertebrate taxa suggests strongly that the model is applicable to other classes
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Several literatures converge on the idea that approach and positive affect related to goal pursuit are managed by one self-regulatory system and that avoidance (or withdrawal) and negative affect related to threats are managed by a second self-regulatory system. After briefly reviewing these literatures, the authors consider the relation of these themes to the broader domain of personality. In particular, they map individual differences in the responsivity of the approach system onto the personality dimension of extraversion and map individual differences in the responsivity of the withdrawal system onto the dimension of neuroticism. This mapping requires a slight refocusing of current conceptions of extraversion and neuroticism. However, such a refocusing brings a gain as well as a cost: In particular, it would embed these dimensions more explicitly in a process-oriented conceptualization of action control.
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This paper describes a biosocial model of status in face-to-face groups. It argues that status ranks are allocated among members of a group through face-to-face interaction and that the allocation process is similar across each primate species, including humans. Every member of a group signifies its rank through physical or vocal demeanor. For example, behavioral signs of dominant status include erect posture, glares, eye contact, strutting, and (in humans) assertive speech. Individuals whose behaviors exhibit dominance show high or rising levels of testosterone compared to those who exhibit deference. Testosterone and dominance are reciprocally related. The model relies more on research on males than on females. It is proposed as a theory about both sexes, but with a caution that little is known about sex differences in the relation of hormones to dominance behavior.
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The challenge hypothesis (J. C. Wingfield, R. E. Hegner, B. G. Ball, and A. M. Duffy, 1990, Am. Nat. 136, 829-846) proposes that in birds, reptiles, and fish, "the frequency or intensity of reproductive aggression as an effect of T[estosterone] is strongest in situations of social instability, such as during the formation of dominance relationships, the establishment of territorial boundaries, or challenges by a conspecific male for a territory or access to mates" (p. 833). To determine the extension of this hypothesis to mammalian species, we tested predictions of the hypothesis in a nonpaternal, seasonal breeding, prosimian primate (ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta). Semi-free-ranging males were studied during periods of social stability (premating period) and instability (mating period). The annual mating season consists of several days during which males fight for access to promiscuous group females as each individually becomes sexually receptive for 1 day. Male rates of aggression were compared to fecal testosterone levels within premating and mating periods. In the premating period male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone level. By contrast, during the mating season testosterone and aggression levels were positively and significantly correlated. However, on days just preceding estrus, male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone, but on days of estrus, when aggressive challenges peaked sharply, testosterone and aggression were highly positively correlated. These results suggest that the challenge hypothesis applies to mammals as well as to birds, reptiles, and fish. In addition, elevations in testosterone were tightly circumscribed around days of estrus, suggesting a compromise between costs and benefits of elevated testosterone levels.
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Recently, it was demonstrated how individuals with high levels of testosterone selectively attend toward angry faces. It was argued that this suggests that high levels of testosterone are associated with an aggressive, dominating personality style. In this study, the authors used a double-blind, placebo-controlled design to examine whether exogenous testosterone would induce cardiac acceleration in response to angry faces. Participants (healthy young women) were exposed to neutral, happy, or angry faces. Administration of a single dosage of testosterone (0.5 mg) induced an accelerative cardiac response to angry faces. It is argued that this effect is due to the encouragement of dominance behavior and the inclination toward aggression. Possible mechanisms behind testosterone-driven changes in behavior are discussed with relevance to steroid-responsive networks in the limbic system that drive and control motivational and physiological aspects of social behavior.
Article
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Two studies examined interactions of implicit power motivation and experimentally varied victory or defeat in a contest on implicit learning of a visuomotor sequence associated with the contest outcome and changes in testosterone and self-reported affect. In men and women, power motivation predicted enhanced learning (sequence-execution accuracy) after a victory and impaired learning after a defeat. In men, power motivation predicted testosterone increases among winners and decreases among losers, and testosterone decreases mediated the negative effect of power motivation on learning in losers. In women, power motivation predicted postcontest testosterone increases, particularly among losers. In both men and women, self-reported affective states were influenced only by contest outcome and were unrelated to participants' testosterone changes or implicit learning.
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Results from two experiments suggest that stereotype-threat effects are special cases of a more general process involving the need to maintain or enhance status. We hypothesized that situations capable of confirming a performance stereotype might represent either a threat to status or an opportunity for enhancement of status, depending on the nature of the stereotype. The positive relationship between baseline testosterone and status sensitivity led us to hypothesize that high testosterone levels in males and females would amplify existing performance expectations when gender-based math-performance stereotypes were activated. In Study 1, high-testosterone females performed poorly on a math test when a negative performance stereotype was primed. In Study 2, high-testosterone males excelled on a math test when a positive performance stereotype was primed. The moderating effect of testosterone on performance suggests that a stereotype-relevant situation is capable of conferring either a loss or a gain of status on targets of the stereotype.
Article
Recently, it was demonstrated how individuals with high levels of testosterone selectively attend toward angry faces. It was argued that this suggests that high levels of testosterone are associated with an aggressive, dominating personality style. In this study, the authors used a double-blind, placebo-controlled design to examine whether exogenous testosterone would induce cardiac acceleration in response to angry faces. Participants (healthy young women) were exposed to neutral, happy, or angry faces. Administration of a single dosage of testosterone (0.5 mg) induced an accelerative cardiac response to angry faces. It is argued that this effect is due to the encouragement of dominance behavior and the inclination toward aggression. Possible mechanisms behind testosterone-driven changes in behavior are discussed with relevance to steroid-responsive networks in the limbic system that drive and control motivational and physiological aspects of social behavior.
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The village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus), a tropical passerine bird widely distributed in subSaharan Africa, was the subject of experiments in aviaries at our university. Castrated males fall in the dominance hierarchy, fewer such males establish territorial ownership, they sing less often and weave fewer nests. Injection with testosterone propionate in castrates, or in normal males outside the breeding season, tends to stimulate aggressiveness and breeding behavior. However, the most dominant individuals may strongly suppress breeding behavior by subordinate males (psychological castration). Thus, outside the breeding season, subordinate males that were injected with testosterone propionate to which they at first showed little response, promptly began to sing or sang significantly much more often, and established territories, after dominant males were removed from their aviary.
Article
Naturally elevated serum testosterone levels do occur in mares and may be of adrenal or ovarian origin, due to lesions in these organs themselves or to a lesion in the hypothalamo—pituitary axes. These elevated levels work on sexually dimorphic areas of the body to result in certain masculine characteristics. Of the mares exhibiting these characteristics, some are normal with respect to androgen levels, some have tumors of either the adrenal cortex or the ovary, and the others may have impairments in enzymatic transformation which result in the elevated serum testosterone levels.
Article
The hormone testosterone (T) has a central role in recent theories about allocation of status ranks during face-to-face competition. It has been methodologically convenient to test the hypothesized T mechanism in physically taxing athletic contests, where results have been supportive, although their generalizability to normal social competition is questionable. Competition among chess players is a step closer to normal social competition because it does not require physical struggle, and it is the arena for tests of the T mechanism which are reported here. We find that winners of chess tournaments show higher T levels than do losers. Also, in certain circumstances, competitors show rises in T before their games, as if in preparation for the contests. These results generally support recent theories about the role of T in the allocation of status ranks.
Article
In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examines procedures previously recommended by various authors for the estimation of "change" scores, "residual," or "basefree" measures of change, and other kinds of difference scores. A procedure proposed by F. M. Lord is extended to obtain more precise estimates, and an alternative to the L. R. Tucker, F. Damarin, and S. A. Messick (see 41:3) procedure is offered. A consideration of the purposes for which change measures have been sought in the past leads to a series of recommended procedures which solve research and personnel-decision problems without estimation of change scores for individuals. (22 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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
An empirical study investigated the association between testosterone and aggression in a sample of young male medical students: 101 volunteers completed the Aggression Questionnaire [Buss et al. (1992) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63:452–459] and the Conflict Tactics Scales [Straus (1979) Journal of Marriage and the Family 41:75–88] and gave a blood sample to measure testosterone levels. Neither total testosterone nor the free androgen index correlated significantly with any of the aggression subscales (physical, verbal, anger, and hostility) or with the Conflict Tactics Scales measure. This finding applied to both Caucasian and Asian respondents. Since this was one of several null results among an overall finding of a positive association, a meta-analysis of previous studies involving student samples and those from aggression-prone populations was undertaken. A weighted mean of d = .40 was obtained from 18 studies, but no differences were found between the magnitude of effect in the two types of sample. Of several other study characteristics, only the source of the testosterone assay influenced effect size magnitude, those from salivary samples being higher than those from plasma samples. Aggr. Behav. 24:411–420, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
Changes in testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) were evaluated in males competing in a non-athletic laboratory reaction time task. Subjects were randomly assigned to “win” or “lose” by adjusting feedback regarding their task performance. Further, subjects were randomly assigned to either a Close Contest condition (where one person barely “defeated” his opponent), or a Decisive condition (in which the victory was clear). Throughout competition, samples of saliva were taken and assayed later for T and C. Post-competition mood and attributions were also measured. Winners had higher overall T levels than losers, with no significant difference between Close Contest or Decisive Victory conditions. In contrast, C levels did not differ between winners and losers nor did Condition (Close or Decisive) have any effect. Mood was depressed in Decisive losers compared to all other groups. The results indicate that the perception of winning or losing, regardless of actual performance or merit on the task, differentially influenced T (but not C) levels, and that such hormonal changes are not simply general arousal effects but are related to mood and status change.
Article
Recently, testosterone (T) has been linked to behaviors that are conceptually related to dominance as a personality characteristic. Although evidence for this association is growing, the psychometric properties of T as an individual difference variable have been largely neglected. For T to be considered a biological marker of dispositional dominance it is critical that it demonstrates high test–retest reliability and good convergent and discriminant validity. Two studies tested the temporal stability of salivary T in humans and the relationship between T and traditional measures of personality. Across both studies, test–retest reliability for T was high and comparable to the short-term stability of questionnaire-based and implicitly assessed personality assessment instruments. In being modestly correlated with self-reported dominance, T showed some evidence of convergent validity. In being statistically independent from conceptually unrelated personality constructs (such as Emotional Stability and Openness to Experience) it showed good evidence of discriminant validity. The findings strengthen the psychometric foundation for using T as a hormonal marker of individual differences.
Article
In two experiments, male college students either won or lost $5 on a task controlled entirely by chance. In both studies, winners reported a more positive mood change than did losers and, in Experiment 2, winners reported a more positive mood change than a neutral group that did not win or lose money. After the task was completed, winners exhibited significantly higher testosterone levels than losers. Levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and arousal, did not differ among the groups, suggesting that a hormone-behavior response pattern for winning and losing is specific to testosterone. These data suggest that winning can alter testosterone levels in men and that mood may mediate such changes.
Article
Previous evidence indicates that peripheral and intranucleus accumbens injections of testosterone have rewarding effects in male rats as measured in a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. The present study investigated the neurochemical bases of the rewarding properties of testosterone by examining the effect of peripheral and intranucleus accumbens injection of the dopamine receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol on expression of testosterone-induced CPP. On alternating days, adult male Long–Evans rats received peripheral injections of testosterone in a water-soluble hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBC) inclusion complex (0.8 mg/kg) or saline-HBC immediately prior to being confined for 30 min to one of two compartments of a place preference apparatus. All rats received 8 days of pairings (four hormone pairings, four saline pairings). On day 9 the rats were given a 20-min test session during which they had access to all compartments of the apparatus. No hormone was injected prior to the test session; however, rats received a peripheral (20 min prior; 0.2, 0.3 mg/kg) or intra-accumbens (2 min prior, 5.0 μg) injection of α-flupenthixol or saline. On the test day, rats receiving saline injections spent significantly more time in the compartment previously paired with injections of testosterone than in the compartment previously paired with vehicle injections. In contrast, rats receiving peripheral or intra-accumbens α-flupenthixol injections did not spend significantly more time in the compartment previously paired with testosterone. The blockade of testosterone CPP was not due to an effect of α-flupenthixol on motor behavior. The findings provide further evidence of the rewarding affective properties of testosterone and indicate that peripheral administration and intra-accumbens administration of α-flupenthixol block expression of testosterone CPP. The rewarding affective properties of testosterone are mediated, at least in part, via an interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine system.
Article
The influence of dominance on the pituitary-adrenal and gonadal systems was evaluated in male squirrel monkeys. Basal and stress levels of plasma cortisol and testosterone were determined in eight male pairs across a 5-week period. The data indicated that squirrel monkeys have unusually high levels of steroid hormones in comparison to other species. Dominant males had higher levels of cortisol and testosterone and showed a smaller stress response than did subordinate males.
Article
Freezing is an adaptive defensive behavior that is expressed in response to an imminent threat. In prior studies with rhesus monkeys, stable individual differences in animals' propensities to freeze have been demonstrated. To understand the factors associated with these individual differences, freezing behavior was examined in infant rhesus monkeys and their mothers, in conjunction with levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. In both mothers and infants, basal cortisol levels were positively correlated with freezing duration. Additionally, the number of offspring a mother had was negatively correlated with her infant's cortisol level. These findings suggest a link between basal cortisol levels and an animal's propensity to freeze, as well as a mechanism by which maternal experience may affect infants' cortisol levels.
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
In view of previous studies showing that testosterone increases persistence of food searching in chicks, a single factorially-designed experiment was carried out to investigate whether a similar phenomenon occurs in male mice. Using a runway test, it was found that testosterone, injected into castrated mice, did increase persistence. It was also shown that intact males resembled more the testosterone-injected than control-injected castrates, and that females resembled neither intact males nor either group of castrates. A larger number of training trials was found to affect feeding latencies in a similar way to testosterone. Comparison of two strains differing in emotional reactivity (BALB/c and Porton) showed differences consistent with their reactivity levels.
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
In an ongoing study of endocrine function in wild olive baboons living freely in Kenya, sustained social stress was associated with suppressed testosterone (T) concentrations in males. In the present report, the acute stressor of rapid capture and immobilization caused profound and rapid suppression of T concentrations in these individuals. Elevation of cortisol concentrations preceded, and was at least partially responsible for, the declining T concentrations, as dexamethasone (DEX) administration produced a similar suppression. DEX inhibited T secretion, but did not alter its clearance. The testes appeared to be the principal site of this inhibition; DEX did not alter LHRH-induced pituitary secretion of LH, somewhat attenuated LH bioactivity, but caused a complete suppression of LH-induced testicular secretion of T. Considerable individual variation occurred in sensitivity to stress-induced suppression of T concentrations. Some individuals had transient elevations of T concentrations during the poststress hour, although concentrations ultimately declined significantly. These males were also least sensitive to DEX inhibition of LH-induced T secretion. These studies demonstrate acute stress-induced suppression of gonadal function in a population of primates living in their natural habitat. Furthermore, they implicate glucocorticoid actions mostly at the testes as possible underlying endocrine mechanisms for such regulation.
Article
The initial behavioral reaction to unfamiliar events is a distinctive source of intraspecific variation in humans and other animals. Two longitudinal studies of 2-year-old children who were extreme in the display of either behavioral restraint or spontaneity in unfamiliar contexts revealed that by 7 years of age a majority of the restrained group were quiet and socially avoidant with unfamiliar children and adults whereas a majority of the more spontaneous children were talkative and interactive. The group differences in peripheral physiological reactions suggest that inherited variation in the threshold of arousal in selected limbic sites may contribute to shyness in childhood and even extreme degrees of social avoidance in adults.
Article
In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented.
Article
Assessment of ovarian activity based on saliva samples has proven particularly useful in studies of women in well-developed countries and is potentially of even greater value in women of lower socioeconomic status in Third World countries. Assay techniques suitable for measuring low concentrations of steroids in saliva have become available only recently, so data derived from salivary sampling regimens are far less extensive than those based on plasma or urinary sampling procedures. Collecting saliva is an attractive alternative to the more conventional procedures because of the ease of frequent collection and freedom from religious and social constraints. Simple, direct assays for salivary progesterone have been established, but those for estradiol require considerably more research before becoming useful in routine practice. Predicting ovulation with data derived from saliva sampling awaits the development of more suitable assays for salivary estradiol.
Article
In an ongoing study of wild olive baboons living in a protected reserve in Kenya, the response of the testicular axis to the acute stress of rapid capture and immobilization was studied. The stress suppressed LH and testosterone (T) concentrations; previous work showed this to be due to stress-induced release of opiates and glucocorticoids, acting to inhibit LH release and testicular sensitivity to LH, respectively. There was considerable individual variation in this phenomenon, which was related to the social status of individual males. High ranking males (by reproductive criteria) were less vulnerable to the suppressive effects of stress on T concentrations and, in fact, showed transient increases in T concentrations during the first poststress hour. T concentrations in subordinates, in contrast, declined promptly and continuously. This difference in T profiles occurred despite similar suppressions of LH concentrations in both groups, suggesting a peripheral mechanism for the transient elevation of T concentrations in high ranking males. Part of this distinctive pattern had been shown to be due to the lesser sensitivity of the testes of high ranking males to the suppressive effects of glucocorticoids. The present report suggests an additional mechanism accounting for this rank-related difference. Administration of chlorisondamine, a sympathetic ganglionic blocker which attenuates stress-induced release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, failed to alter any aspect of LH or T profiles in low ranking males or LH profiles in high ranking males. However, it completely eliminated the transient rise in T concentrations in these males. This suggests that sympathetic catecholamines, released during stress and acting peripherally, directly, or permissively lead to increased T concentrations. This could be via increased blood flow through the testes and/or through direct stimulation of T release by catecholamines. The limitation of this sympathetic regulation of the testes to high ranking males suggests either enhanced sympathetic tone during stress in these animals (relative to subordinates) or enhanced target tissue sensitivity to catecholamines.