Hormonal Factors - Aggression Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Hormonal Factors - Aggression Deck (14):

What is testosterone?

A type of androgen = associated with males attributes


Why might testosterone explain why young males are the most likely to be convicted of a violent offence?

Testosterone peaks in young males and then decreases through out life. Appears to be a weak correlation BUT the relationship between testosterone and aggression is not very clear


Where and why is cortisol produced?

Produced in the adrenal medulla as a response to stress


How does cortisol increase aggression? (2 points)

Low cortisol = more aggression
1) very unpleasant to have low levels of autonomic nervous system arousal
2) acts to inhibit aggressive behaviour


How are cortisol and testosterone linked?

Perhaps testosterone does increase aggression but only when there are low levels of cortisol


What did Kouri do?

Double-blind procedure = young men given doses of testosterone or a placebo
- Paired with a confederate who said if they press a button they would reduce the amount of money received by the other participant


What did Kouri find?

Those who received testosterone pushed the button more BUT not very aggressive behaviour


What did Virkunen find?

Study reported low levels of cortisol in young offenders


What did Bain et al find?

No significant difference in testosterone of those charged with violent crimes than non-violent crimes


What is the nature/nurture issue?

- In a challenging situation testosterone may increase = aggression increase
- People may be born with high testosterone or low cortisol
- Drug abuse can reduce levels of cortisol


What is the real world application issue?

- If violent offender have low cortisol (screen them) we could treat this with medication which may reduce aggression
- If offenders have high testosterone they could be given anger management


What is the social sensitive nature of research issue?

If all young men are labeled with high testosterone this may cause a self-fufilling prophecy = become aggressive due to the label


What was the aim of Book's study?

To re-examine the relationship between testosterone and aggression with a sample of 45 studies


What did Book find?

The mean weighted correlation (r=0.14) corroborates the previous finding of a weak positive relationship
= there is a weak association between more testosterone and more aggression, but that many other factors must be important