Decades of research in behavioral endocrinology has implicated the gonadal hormone testosterone in the reg- ulation of mating effort, often expressed in primates in the form of aggressive and/or status-striving behavior. Based on the idea that neuroendocrine axes influence each other, recent work among humans has proposed that links between testosterone and indices of status-striving are rendered conditional by the effects of glucocorti- coids. The Dual Hormone hypothesis is one particular instance of this argument, predicting that cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone on dominance, aggression, and risk-taking in humans. Support for the Dual Hormone hypothesis is wide-ranging, but considerations of theoretical ambiguity, null findings, and low statistical power pose problems for interpreting the published literature. Here, we contribute to the development of the Dual Hormone hypothesis by (1) critically reviewing the extant literature—including p-curve analyses of published findings; and, (2) “opening the file drawer” and examining relationships between testosterone, cortisol, and status-striving personality features in seven previously published studies from our laboratories (total N = 718; median N per feature = 318) that examined unrelated predictions. Results from p-curve suggest that published studies have only 16% power to detect effects, while our own data show no robust interactions between tes- tosterone and cortisol in predicting status-striving personality features. We discuss the implications of these results for the Dual Hormone hypothesis, limitations of our analyses, and the development of future research.

Testosterone, cortisol, and status-striving personality features: A review and empirical evaluation of the dual hormone hypothesis

Del Giudice, Marco;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Decades of research in behavioral endocrinology has implicated the gonadal hormone testosterone in the reg- ulation of mating effort, often expressed in primates in the form of aggressive and/or status-striving behavior. Based on the idea that neuroendocrine axes influence each other, recent work among humans has proposed that links between testosterone and indices of status-striving are rendered conditional by the effects of glucocorti- coids. The Dual Hormone hypothesis is one particular instance of this argument, predicting that cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone on dominance, aggression, and risk-taking in humans. Support for the Dual Hormone hypothesis is wide-ranging, but considerations of theoretical ambiguity, null findings, and low statistical power pose problems for interpreting the published literature. Here, we contribute to the development of the Dual Hormone hypothesis by (1) critically reviewing the extant literature—including p-curve analyses of published findings; and, (2) “opening the file drawer” and examining relationships between testosterone, cortisol, and status-striving personality features in seven previously published studies from our laboratories (total N = 718; median N per feature = 318) that examined unrelated predictions. Results from p-curve suggest that published studies have only 16% power to detect effects, while our own data show no robust interactions between tes- tosterone and cortisol in predicting status-striving personality features. We discuss the implications of these results for the Dual Hormone hypothesis, limitations of our analyses, and the development of future research.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3064478
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