BLOA - explain effects of 2 hormones on human behaviour Flashcards Preview

IB Psychology HL > BLOA - explain effects of 2 hormones on human behaviour > Flashcards

Flashcards in BLOA - explain effects of 2 hormones on human behaviour Deck (17):


- chemical messengers
- secreted by glands (endocrine system)
- transported in the blood stream by distal blood cells
- can affect both physiology and psychology


difference between hormone and neurotransmitter

- both are chemical messengers that carry a signal from one cell to another
- but hormones travel through the blood stream
- while neurotransmitters traverse synaptic gaps



- hormone secreted by the hypothalamus
- stimulated by the pituitary gland
- triggers contractions in the uterus during childbirth
- increases trust and generosity in healthy individuals
- associated with stress reduction

Positive effect: Guastella et al. (2008)
Negative effect: Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009)


evolutionary explanation for oxytocin

- causes social attachment in mammal mothers towards offspring
- health benefits due to stress reduction (e.g. counters high blood pressure)
- as humans are social animals, trust among members of the species is crucial for survival, defense, and well-being


Guastella et al. (2008) - Process

1. 49 healthy male participants were given a shot of either:
- oxytocin
- placebo
2. Participants were shown 36 happy, angry, or neutral faces
3. Participants returned the next day to make judges of whether they remembered the image or not when shown a mixture of the previous images + 72 new images


Guastella et al. (2008) - Results

- participants given oxytocin = more likely to remember previously seen happy faces compared to other expressions
- but oxytocin doesn't influence judgements for new faces


Guastella et al. (2008) - Conclusion

- giving oxytocin to male humans enhances encoding of positive memories
- makes positive memories more memorable


Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009) - Claim

- humans have a strong social tendency to compare
- tendency to be happier when their conditions are more favorable than their peers
- jealousy and schadenfreude are recurring social emotions that are a symptom of comparison
- speculated that oxytocin has a moderating effect on the intensity of those emotions


Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009) - Method

1. 56 participants were given a nasal dose of either:
- oxytocin
- placebo
2. They played a game of chance with a confederate, and the outcome had 3 conditions:
- jealousy (confederate won more money)
- schadenfreude (confederate lost more money)
- control (won/lost equal amounts of money)
3. Participants were asked to rate their mood at the end


Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009) - Findings

oxytocin group experienced more intense emotions (higher jealousy and schadenfreude ratings)


Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009) - Conclusion

- findings contradicted initial claim
- oxytocin also involved in increasing envy and schadenfreude
- not just positive pro-social behaviours



- fight or flight response
- is released from the adrenal gland
- increases alertness
- prepares body for action
- may be responsible for the creation of emotion
- increases flow of oxygen and blood to the brain
- increases heart rate and blood pressure
- transfers key resources (e.g. oxygen, glucose) away from internal organs towards extremities of the body
- associated with creating emotions
- mostly associated with negative emotions (e.g. fear)
- for extreme sports lovers the release of adrenaline in such situations can be associated with positive feelings


evolutionary explanation of adrenaline

- adjusts bodily priorities according to the situation
- being able to think and move quickly is more important for surviving a stressful situation compared to functions like digestion
- burst of focus is useful for appraising situations


Schachter and Singer (1962) - Process

1. participants were informed they would receive a vitamin injection for vision experiments
2. group 1-3 received adrenaline, group 4 (control) received a placebo saline solution
3. - group 1 was told the effects of an adrenaline solution (described as side effects to the vitamin solution)
- group 2 wasn't given any info
- group 3 was told headaches, numbness, and/or itches were possible side effects
4. groups were further split into 2 contexts:
- euphoria: a confederate encouraged participants to join in games
- anger: a confederate gives an outburst of anger due to personal questions on a questionnaire
5. participants were asked to assess their moods when they were finished


Schachter and Singer (1962) - Findings

- groups 2-3 generally showed more euphoric behaviour and reported more happiness
- the anger context didn't elicit the corresponding pattern, but researchers theorized that participants were uncomfortable with revealing such details
- based on observational data of the anger context, group 1 was less angry than groups 2-3 (as group 1 had an explanation for their physiological arousal)


interpretation of Schachter and Singer (1962)

- adrenaline helps in the construction of the emotional experience
- in a real-life situation the surge of adrenaline would assist in appraising a situation to establish a proper emotional response


what to write when asked "explain effects of two hormones of human behaviour"

- define hormone
- distinguish hormone from neurotransmitter
- what does oxytocin/adrenaline do? why do they have that effect?
- outline background info/evolutionary explanations
- oxytocin studies: Guastella et al. (2008) -- positive effects, Shamay-Tsoory et al. (2009) -- negative effects
- adrenaline study: Schachter and Singer (1962)

Decks in IB Psychology HL Class (60):