Motivation and emotion/Book/2019/Testosterone, winning, and losing

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Testosterone, winning, and losing:
What is the relationship between winning, losing, and testosterone?
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Overview[edit | edit source]

Testosterone is a hormone which is responsible for many of the physical characteristics specific to adult males and plays key role in the development of male reproductive tissues. Few researches have shown that hormonal responses are affected with respect to the outcome of particular competition or game (i.e.winning or losing). An article named " Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events" suggested that watching one's heroes win or lose has physiological consequences that extend beyond changes in mood and self esteem. However, other studies shows contradicting results which states that winning or losing had no effect on the men's testosterone levels. In this book chapter, we are going to discuss different studies and findings that investigates the relationship between winning, losing, and testosterone.

Hormonal stimulation[edit | edit source]

  • Individual's propensity to adjust contest decisions after wins and losses does depend on its hormonal state.
  • individuals with lower levels of cortisol (F), testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (KT) are more receptive than others to the influence of recent contest experiences, especially losing experiences, and the influences last longer.
  • "The winner effect" is a self reinforcing of the two key hormones which drives the biochemistry of success and failure.
  • Testosterone rises sharply during a
  • Testosterone rises sharply and durably during financial booms, inducing a state of risk-seeking euphoria and providing a positive feedback loop in which success itself provides a competitive advantage.
  • By contrast, the stress hormone cortisol spikes during financial downturns; traders with sustained high levels of cortisol become more risk-averse and timid, ultimately being less competitive.

Testosterone and human competition[edit | edit source]

  • Bio-social theory of status
  • Testosterone Fuels both competition and protectiveness.
  • Studies showed that in a competition ,winners with rising testosterone had higher testosterone before their next match, in contrast to losers with falling testosterone, who had lower testosterone before their next match.
  • Winners evaluate their own performance highly and had higher testosterone before their next match in contrast to losers with falling testosterone.

Testosterone responsiveness to winning and losing[edit | edit source]

  • The concentrations of testosterone rises rapidly in a context of competitive interactions and it remains elevated in winners relative to losers.
  • Testosterone plays a critical role in modulating aggressive behavior in numerous animal species, yet its relationship to human aggression remains controversial (Eisenegger et al., 2011).
  • Evidence in animal models indicate that winning an aggressive interaction increases one’s probability of winning subsequent interactions, while losing has the opposing effect (Dugaktin, 1997; Hsu and Wolf, 1999)
  • Winning a competition is classically associated with a rise in social status and increase in testosterone levels, whereas losing a competition is associated with a drop in status and testosterone decrease.
  • The research data indicates that winning a competition lead to more dominant behaviour, albeit in a manner that is not statistically regulated by testosterone, possibly through increased feeling of entitlement.

Tables[edit | edit source]

Important points about using tables:

  1. Tables can be an effective way to organise content.
  2. Tables should be captioned (using APA style) in order to explain its relevance to the text.
  3. Each table should be referred to at least once in the main text (e.g., see Table 1 and Table 2).

Here are two example tables which could be adapted:

Table 1.

Example of a Table with an APA Style Caption

Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 3
C1R1 C2R1 C3R1
C1R2 C2R2 C3R2
C1R3 C2R3 C3R3

Table 2.

Another Example of a Table with an APA Style Caption

Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 3
C1R1 C2R1 C3R1
C1R2 C2R2 C3R2
C1R3 C2R3 C3R3

Feature boxes[edit | edit source]

Important points about using feature boxes:

  1. Feature boxes can be used to highlight content.
  2. Possible uses for feature boxes include:
    1. Focus questions
    2. Case studies or examples
    3. Take-home messages
  3. There are many different ways of creating feature boxes (e.g., see Pretty boxes)
Feature box example
  1. Shaded background
  2. Coloured border

Quiz questions[edit | edit source]

Important points about using quizzes:

  1. Quiz questions can be used to help make a chapter more interactive.
  2. To learn about different types of quiz questions, see Help:Quiz.
  3. Rather than presenting one longer quiz at the end, consider adding, say, one review quiz question per major section.
  4. Try to assess conceptual knowledge, rather than trivia.

Here are some simple example quiz questions:

Choose the correct answers and click "Submit":

1 Approximately how many neurons are in the human brain?

1,000,000 (1 million)
10,000,000 (10 million)
100,000,000 (100 million)
1,000,000,000 (1 billion)
10,000,000,000 (10 billion)

2 A typical neuron fires ________ per second.

1 to 4
5 to 49
50 to 99
100 to 199
200 to 499

3rd main heading[edit | edit source]

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. For more information, see Lorem ipsum (Wikipedia).

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Important points about this section:

  1. This is arguably the most important section.
  2. What is the answer to the question in the sub-title (based on psychological theory and research)?
  3. What are the practical, take-home messages?

See also[edit | edit source]

Testosterone (Wikipedia)

12 Signs of Low Testosterone (Healthline)

Understanding How Testosterone Affects Men (NIH)

References[edit | edit source]

'Believing you're a winner' gives men a testosterone boost and promiscuous disposition. (2018). Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

Booth A, e. (1989). Testosterone, and winning and losing in human competition. - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

M. Carre´, J. (2013). Changes in testosterone mediate the effect of winning on subsequent aggressive behaviour. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

Popova, M. (2012). The Hormone Surges That Keep Winners Winning. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

Sedghroohi, G., Ravasi, A., Gaieni, A., & Fayazmilan, R. (2011). The Effect of Win or Loss on Serum Testosterone and Cortisol Hormones in Female Basketball Players. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

Testosterone Fuels Both Competition and Protectiveness. (2013). Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

Wu, Y., Eisenegger, C., Sivanathan, N., Crockett, M., & Clark, L. (2017). The role of social status and testosterone in human conspicuous consumption. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from

External links[edit | edit source]