Jun 29, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
“Male chimpanzees showed an increase in testosterone [when they anticipated competition], which is thought to prepare animals for competition or aggressive interactions. By contrast, male bonobos showed an increase in cortisol, which is associated with stress and more passive social strategies in other animals. . . .
Human males usually experience an increase in cortisol before many types of competition in a similar way as seen in the bonobos. However, if men have what is called a "high power motive," or a strong desire to achieve high status, they experience an increase in testosterone before a competition.”
The article also suggests human males’ testosterone levels change after competition as well, a trait apparently unique to humans. I’m probably a bonobo-type guy. What kind are you?
The article is particularly interesting since economists never model agent preferences over competition levels, but those preferences clearly exist and the study suggests are largely negative. Where are women in the study, you ask? They appear nearly as prominently as they do in my social life Much beloved, hardly seen.