Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2009 Dec 16;4(12):e8330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008330.

Testosterone administration decreases generosity in the ultimatum game.

Author information

1
Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, USA. paul@pauljzak.com

Abstract

How do human beings decide when to be selfish or selfless? In this study, we gave testosterone to 25 men to establish its impact on prosocial behaviors in a double-blind within-subjects design. We also confirmed participants' testosterone levels before and after treatment through blood draws. Using the Ultimatum Game from behavioral economics, we find that men with artificially raised T, compared to themselves on placebo, were 27% less generous towards strangers with money they controlled (95% CI placebo: (1.70, 2.72); 95% CI T: (.98, 2.30)). This effect scales with a man's level of total-, free-, and dihydro-testosterone (DHT). Men in the lowest decile of DHT were 560% more generous than men in the highest decile of DHT. We also found that men with elevated testosterone were more likely to use their own money punish those who were ungenerous toward them. Our results continue to hold after controlling for altruism. We conclude that elevated testosterone causes men to behave antisocially.

PMID:
20016825
PMCID:
PMC2789942
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0008330
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center