Testing testosterone

Testosterone What to do with those high-testosterone people marauding around your office? Promote them.

That’s the conclusion we draw, anyway, from a study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. Its aim was to determine how leadership status (or the lack thereof) affects the cognitive performance of men and women with above-average testosterone levels. "During the study, people were asked to complete a spatial and verbal test under one of three conditions. They were given a leader role (high status), a follower role (low status), or no information about their status (control group). … Men and women with relatively high testosterone levels did well on both tests if they were in the leader role, but poorly if they were in the follower role. The high testosterone group also showed an increase in blood pressure when assigned to the low status role." The researchers theorize that the high-testosterone people were comfortable in the top-dog role and, hence, able to concentrate on the tasks. Conversely, those assigned to the follower role were distracted by their low status and, as such, less able to perform the tasks. Armed with this knowledge, you can now speculate anew about the testosterone levels of your colleagues, high-status and low-status alike.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver