Exploring the effect of attachment styles and winning or losing a status contest on testosterone levels

Published on Jul 17, 2018in Frontiers in Psychology2.129
· DOI :10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01051
Willem Verbeke29
Estimated H-index: 29
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam),
Frank D. Belschak17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UvA: University of Amsterdam)
+ 2 AuthorsMichaéla C. Schippers17
Estimated H-index: 17
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)
A person’s ability to form relationships and seek and attain social status affects their chances of survival. We study how anxious and avoidant-attachment styles and subsequent winning or losing affects the testosterone (T) levels of team members playing two status contests. The first is a management game played by teams striving to earn the most profits. Winners and losers emerge due to the cognitive endeavor of the players, which provokes intense status dynamics. Avoidant-attached winners do not show higher T levels whereas anxious-attached winners do. The second is an economic game which is rigged and favors some teams to become richer than others; teams have the option though to trade with each other and reduce the self-perpetuating rich-poor dynamics embedded in the game. Besides attachment styles, we here also explore how authentic pride as a self-conscious emotion affects team members’ T levels as players trade with others to create more fairness. As in the first status contest, players’ T levels are not significantly affected by their avoidant attachment style, neither as a main effect nor in interaction with winning or losing the game. However, similar to the first game, players’ anxious attachment style affects their T levels: anxious-attached players generate significantly higher T levels when winning the game, but only when experiencing high authentic pride during the game. In short, the moderating effects of attachment style on winners’ T levels are partly replicated in both status games which allows us to better understand the functioning of working models of attachment styles during and after status contests and gives us a better understanding of working models of attachment styles in general.
Figures & Tables
  • References (31)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
20182.78PLOS ONE
29 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Ryon C. McDermott (USA: University of South Alabama)H-Index: 8
#2Hsiu-Lan Cheng (USF: University of San Francisco)H-Index: 9
Last. Liz Schneider BatemanH-Index: 1
view all 5 authors...
7 CitationsSource
#1Joop J. HoxH-Index: 48
#2Mirjam MoerbeekH-Index: 20
Last. Rens van de Schoot (UU: Utrecht University)H-Index: 27
view all 3 authors...
131 CitationsSource
#1Jennifer A. Bartz (McGill University)H-Index: 19
#2Mark W. Baldwin (McGill University)H-Index: 27
Last. John E. Lydon (McGill University)H-Index: 34
view all 3 authors...
Attachment working models provide the cognitive structure by which individuals seek to satisfy attachment-relevant goals. In this chapter, we examine working models, drawing on social cognitive principles and an expectancy-value framework of motivation to better understand the normative processes involved in the formation and maintenance of adult attachment. Specifically, we consider the cognitive dynamics of working models by examining attachment scripts, consisting of outcome expectancies and ...
2 CitationsSource
#1Bulent Turan (UAB: University of Alabama at Birmingham)H-Index: 17
#2Jinhong Guo (UAB: University of Alabama at Birmingham)H-Index: 1
Last. Deidra Bedgood (UAB: University of Alabama at Birmingham)H-Index: 2
view all 4 authors...
We hypothesized that an interpersonal trait approach would improve our understanding of the behavioral manifestations of basal testosterone. Participants provided saliva samples for testosterone assays on two separate visits and completed the Interpersonal Adjective Scales, the Circumplex Scales of Interpersonal Values, and measures of attachment and loneliness. High testosterone was associated with a distinct interpersonal style that included: attachment-related avoidance, dominance, and discon...
23 CitationsSource
#1Pascal Vrti (University of Geneva)H-Index: 13
#2Patrik Vuilleumier (University of Geneva)H-Index: 77
Since its first description four decades ago, attachment theory (AT) has become one of the principal developmental psychological frameworks for describing the role of individual differences in the establishment and maintenance of social bonds between people. Yet, still little is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of attachment orientations and their well-established impact on a range of social and affective behaviors. In the present review, we summarize data from recent studies using ...
102 CitationsSource
#1Christoph Eisenegger (University of Cambridge)H-Index: 17
#2Johannes Haushofer (UZH: University of Zurich)H-Index: 14
Last. Ernst Fehr (UZH: University of Zurich)H-Index: 100
view all 3 authors...
Although animal researchers established the role of testosterone as a ‘social hormone' decades ago, the investigation of its causal influence on human social behaviors has only recently begun. Here, we review and discuss recent studies showing the causal effects of testosterone on social interactions in animals and humans, and outline the basic neurobiological mechanisms that might underlie these effects. Based on these recent findings, we argue that the role of testosterone in human social beha...
335 CitationsSource
#1Justin M. Carré (Brock University)H-Index: 33
#2Susan K. Putnam (Canisius College)H-Index: 6
Summary Previous research indicates that testosterone concentrations are highly responsive to human competitive interactions and that winners have elevated testosterone concentrations relative to losers. Also, there is some evidence that simply observing others compete can have a similar effect on the endocrine system. Here, in two studies, we examined the extent to which elite male hockey players would demonstrate an increase in testosterone concentrations after watching themselves engaged in a...
64 CitationsSource
Confronting another individual or group motivated by the same goal is a very frequent situation in human communities that occurs in many other species. Competitive interactions emerge as critical situations that shed light on the effects and consequences of social stress on health. But more important than the situation itself is the way it is interpreted by the subject. This ‘‘appraisal’’ involves cognitive processes that contribute to explaining the neuroendocrine response to these interactions...
113 CitationsSource
#1Jessica L. Tracy (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 35
#2Richard W. Robins (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 65
To provide support for the theoretical distinction between 2 facets of pride, authentic and hubristic (J. L. Tracy & R. W. Robins, 2004a), the authors conducted 7 studies. Studies 1-4 demonstrate that the 2 facets (a) emerge in analyses of the semantic meaning of pride-related words, the dispositional tendency to experience pride, and reports of actual pride experiences; (b) have divergent personality correlates and distinct antecedent causal attributions; and (c) do not simply reflect positivel...
388 CitationsSource
#1John Archer (UCLan: University of Central Lancashire)H-Index: 49
Research on testosterone-behavior relationships in humans is assessed in relation to a version of the challenge hypothesis, originally proposed to account for testosterone-aggression associations in monogamous birds. Predictions were that that testosterone would rise at puberty to moderate levels, which supported reproductive physiology and behavior. Sexual arousal and challenges involving young males would raise testosterone levels further. In turn, this would facilitate direct competitive beha...
813 CitationsSource
Cited By1
#1Patrick A. Stewart (UA: University of Arkansas)H-Index: 11
#2Carl Senior (Aston University)H-Index: 29
Last. Erik P. Bucy (TTU: Texas Tech University)H-Index: 20
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Presidential elections are emotion-laden affairs felt psychologically by both competitors and followers. The emotional fallout of losing competitive contests has been documented in the literature but little research has considered the change in affect among political followers in the aftermath of an unsuccessful election. This study examines changes in self-reported happiness, anger, and distress to different smile types expressed by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, measured immediately pr...