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Effect of social challenges on men's testosterone levels, aggression and face perception

The analysis of hormone samples (symbolic image); photo: Thomas Steuer / DPZ

In competitive situations, men are supposed to respond with an increase in testosterone, and this may have consequences on social perception. Here, we investigated whether short-term changes in testosterone can be experimentally induced by exposing men to a computer fighting game. Men’s testosterone levels after the task were higher than before the task. However, a similar effect was found for an exercising task, and in a control condition. Thus, the competitive context did not turn out to be particularly provocative in terms of producing a testosterone response. In addition, changes in testosterone did not predict face assessments of potential rivals and attractive women.


Project leaders

Bernhard Fink

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Julia Ostner

Julia Ostner +49 551 39-33925 Contact Profile