Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male testosterone levels increase when victorious in competition against rivals, but not friends

Date:
May 14, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A study has found that testosterone levels during group competition are modulated depending on the relationships among the competitors and may be related to the formation of alliances in warfare.

Sporting events can bring a community together, such as when the Louisville Cardinals won the NCAA championship and University of Louisville campus was filled with camaraderie. They also can fuel bitter rivalries, such as the long-standing animosity between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. A new University of Missouri study has found that testosterone levels during group competition are modulated depending on the relationships among the competitors and may be related to the formation of alliances in warfare.

"One interesting thing about humans is that we are the only animal that competes in teams," said Mark Flinn, professor of anthropology at MU. "Our hormonal reactions while competing are part of how we evolved as a cooperative species. What we found in our study is that although male's testosterone levels increase when men are victorious against strangers or rivals, levels of the hormone tend to stay the same when competing against friends."

Flinn and his research team studied males from varying age groups on the island of Dominica while they played dominoes or cricket. Flinn found that when males competed against a group outside of their community, their testosterone levels rose during and after competition if they won, but diminished following a defeat. However, when males competed with their friends, their testosterone levels did not change in response to victory or defeat.

Competing in sport coalitions can raise testosterone levels in males, but males don't have to be competing in order to see a rise in testosterone. Flinn says that when watching a favorite sport team the viewer is a part of a coalition of fans in the community and can also get a rise in testosterone levels while watching games.

"For example, when MU plays the University of Kansas, males will probably have a huge increase of testosterone during the game and afterwards if their team is victorious," Flinn said. "At the same time we can create a coalition of fans while attending the game and bond together during the event."

Flinn suggests that coalitions may have had important effects on the evolution of human social psychology.

"The fascinating thing about humans is that whether we are watching or playing the sport, we have the ability to put interactions among the whole team in our heads," Flinn said. "That just shows how complex our social psychology is. For example, a hockey or basketball player can anticipate how his teammates are going to react when he passes to each one of them and predict the outcome. The ability for humans to be able to do that is pretty astonishing."

Members of Flinn's research team include Davide Ponzi, now a postdoctorate at the University of Chicago, and Michael Muehlenbein, associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. The original article was written by Jerett Rion. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Male testosterone levels increase when victorious in competition against rivals, but not friends." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514185338.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, May 14). Male testosterone levels increase when victorious in competition against rivals, but not friends. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514185338.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Male testosterone levels increase when victorious in competition against rivals, but not friends." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514185338.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins