Reactive aggression tracks within-participant changes in women's salivary testosterone

Probst, Fabian; Golle, Jessika; Lory, Vanda; Lobmaier, Janek (2018). Reactive aggression tracks within-participant changes in women's salivary testosterone. Aggressive behavior, 44(4), pp. 362-371. Wiley 10.1002/ab.21757

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The relation between testosterone and aggression has been relatively well documented in men, but it is less well understood in women. Here we assessed the relationship between salivary testosterone and reactive aggression (i.e., rejection rate for unfair offers) in the Ultimatum Game. Forty naturally cycling women were tested twice, once in the late follicular phase (around ovulation) and once during the luteal phase. Ovulation was determined using urine test strips measuring luteinizing hormone levels. Salivary samples were assayed for testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and cortisol at both test sessions. There was no association with the cycle, but multilevel modeling revealed a significant within-participant association between testosterone and rejection rate for extremely unfair offers (i.e., high reactive aggression), indicating that women showed greater reactive aggression when their testosterone levels were higher. Additionally, we found that women with relatively high individual concentrations of testosterone were more likely to reject extremely unfair offers than women with relatively low concentrations of testosterone. This study is the first to demonstrate that women react more aggressively in response to provocation when their testosterone level is high than when their testosterone is low, suggesting that testosterone plays an important role in the regulation of women's aggressive behavior following social provocation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology > Biologische Psychologie (SNF)

UniBE Contributor:

Lobmaier, Janek

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1098-2337

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Janek Lobmaier

Date Deposited:

15 Aug 2018 14:12

Last Modified:

16 Aug 2018 07:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/ab.21757

PubMed ID:

29527708

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.112705

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/112705

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