Testosterone and temperament traits in men: Longitudinal analysis

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Oct;38(10):2243-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.04.009.


Testosterone is the main male hormone that has been associated with various behavioral traits in humans and other animals. We investigated whether levels of total testosterone, free testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin were associated with temperament traits in a population-based sample of Finnish men at two measurement times taken 6 years apart (n=686 in year 2001, n=727 in year 2007). Temperament was assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory that consists of four temperament traits: novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, and persistence. Higher levels of total and free testosterone were associated with higher novelty seeking (standardized B=0.103, p<0.001). This association was also observed in a longitudinal within-person analysis (B=0.084, p=0.008), suggesting that the association is not confounded by stable between-individual differences in other characteristics. Within-individual variation in total testosterone was associated with higher reward dependence, and higher levels of free testosterone were marginally associated with higher reward dependence. Reward dependence reflects the importance of social rewards to an individual. These results provide additional evidence for the stable and time-varying associations between testosterone and temperament in humans.

Keywords: Free testosterone; NS; Novelty seeking; Personality; Temperament; Testosterone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Character
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Reward
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament / physiology*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone