Hormones, Pheromones and Human Behaviour

Understanding hormones and evaluating pheromones is a major part of the biological level of analysis and understanding human behavior in general. 

For example, the amount of testosterone in one’s body is a kecorrelative indicator regarding whether or not they’ll serve time in prison!

Love as a drug? Helen Fisher on Dopamine and the Addiction of love:

Study Abstract:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16255001

In Laymen’s Terms:

http://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-facts-myths/brain-in-love


Hormones

Hormones are similar to neurotransmitters in that they activate cells in our body.  Specifically however,  a hormone is a long distance chemical mediator that is secreted by an endocrine gland into the blood which is transported to target cells; whereas a neurotransmitter is a short distance messenger that is active in the synaptic cleft of neurons. 

The Hormones we’ll be examining are Oxytocin, Testosterone and Adrenaline.

Testosterone:

Investigating Testosterone and Violence article analysis learning helper

Dabbs and Frady (1987) on Testosterone and Violent Offenders: 

Study: Men in Committed relationships have lower testosterone

OXYTOCIN–“The Cuddle Hormone”

Oxytocin is famously referred to as the “cuddle hormone” and made famous by a variety of different research. 

Read the summaries of research below: 

Oxytocin and it’s role in married men keeping attractive women at a distance….Scheele et al. 2012

Oxytocin as facilitating “spontaneous maternal behavior” in Prairie voles. Also, when blocked, maternal behavior stops…Young et al 2006

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452206005070

General coverage of the topic

http://www.economist.com/node/2424049  — Economist’s coverage

http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm  — Crib notes Version

Testosterone–“The Aggression Sex Hormone”

Read the two pieces below. One is an abstract regarding a correlational analysis of testosterone levels of violent offenders in prison and the other is a Psychology Today article summarizing much of the research on the subject. Both are of high value:

Dabbs and Frady (1987) on Testosterone and Violent Offenders: 

http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/1987/03000/Saliva_testosterone_and_criminal_violence_in_young.7.aspx