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Horm Behav. 1999 Dec;36(3):234-41.

Implicit power motivation moderates men's testosterone responses to imagined and real dominance success.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, William James Hall 1518, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, USA.


This study tested the hypothesis that implicit power motivation moderates individuals' testosterone responses to the anticipated success in and actual outcome of a dominance contest. Salivary testosterone levels were assessed in 42 male students at the beginning of the study, after they had imagined a success in an ensuing power contest, and immediately after the contest had taken place. Contest outcome (winning or losing against a competitor on a speed-based task) was varied experimentally. Participants' power motive was assessed with a picture-story exercise, in which an assertive, personalized (p Power) component was distinguished from an altruistic, socialized (s Power) component. In contrast to all other participants, individuals high only in p Power (a) had elevated testosterone after imagining a success in a subsequent dominance contest and (b) continued to have high testosterone levels after actually winning, but not after losing, the contest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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