Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2014 Nov 3;5:1240.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01240. eCollection 2014.

Testosterone Response to Competition in Males Is Unrelated to Opponent Familiarity or Threat Appraisal

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Testosterone Response to Competition in Males Is Unrelated to Opponent Familiarity or Threat Appraisal

Gonçalo A Oliveira et al. Front Psychol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

It has been proposed in the literature that the testosterone (T) response to competition in humans may be modulated by cognitive variables. In a previous experiment with a female sample we have reported that opponent familiarity and threat appraisal moderated the T response to competition in women. With this experiment we aim to investigate if these variables have the same impact on males T response to competition, extending the previous findings in our lab. Forty male participants (20 dyads) were recruited to engage in a same sex, face to face competition using the Number Tracking Test as a competitive task. Levels of T, cortisol (C) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were measured before and 20 min after the competition. Results show that losers report higher levels of threat than winners and increased their T levels after the competition, however this T change was not predicted by opponent familiarity or threat appraisal. No variation was detected for C and DHEA levels. These findings suggest that there could be sex differences for the moderators/mediators of the T response to competition in humans.

Keywords: androgens; challenge hypothesis; cognition; sex factors; testosterone.

Figures

FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1
Competition outcome appraisal rating as a Threat/ Challenge (Mean ± SEM) for participants in the winner and loser condition with familiarity of the opponent as a covariate. Asterisk indicates significant differences at p ≤ 0.05.
FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2
Hormone levels (Mean ± SEM) measured at baseline (pre-competition) and 20 min after the competition (post-competition) for participants in the winner and loser condition with familiarity of the opponent as a covariate. (A) testosterone, (B) cortisol, and (C) DHEA. Asterisk indicates significant differences at p ≤ 0.05.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

References

    1. Aiken L. S., West S. G. (1991). Multiple Regression: Testing and Interpreting Interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc
    1. Archer J. (2006). Testosterone and human aggression: an evaluation of the challenge hypothesis. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 30 319–345. 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2004.12.007 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Blascovich J., Mendes W. B. (2000). “Challenge and threat appraisals the role of affective clues,” in Feeling and Thinking: The Role of Affect in Social Cognition ed.Forgas J. P., editor. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; ) 59–82
    1. Blascovich J., Vanman E., Mendes W., Dickerson S. (2011). Social Psychophysiology for Social and Personality Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc
    1. Carré J. M., Putnam S. K., McCormick C. M. (2009). Testosterone responses to competition predict future aggressive behaviour at a cost to reward in men. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34 561–570. 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.10.018 - DOI - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback