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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Jun;90(6):999-1013.

The mismatch effect: when testosterone and status are at odds.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, USA. josephs@mail.psy.utexas.edu

Abstract

Why do some people strive for high status, whereas others actively avoid it? In the present studies, the authors examined the psychological and physiological consequences of a mismatch between baseline testosterone and a person's current level of status. The authors tested this mismatch effect by placing high and low testosterone individuals into high or low status positions using a rigged competition. In Study 1, low testosterone participants reported greater emotional arousal, focused more on their status, and showed worse cognitive functioning in a high status position. High testosterone participants showed this pattern in a low status position. In Study 2, the emotional arousal findings were replicated with heart rate, and the cognitive findings were replicated using a math test. In Study 3, the authors demonstrate that testosterone is a better predictor of behavior than self-report measures of the need for dominance. Discussion focuses on the value of measuring hormones in personality and social psychology.

PMID:
16784348
DOI:
10.1037/0022-3514.90.6.999
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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