Salivary testosterone / salivary cortisol ratio may predict a team player’s social popularity
Long-term stability of diurnal salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase secretion patterns
Author: Ponzi D, et al (2016), Psychoneuroendocrinology
This study tested whether testosterone and cortisol interacted in predicting social network centrality. The sample size consisted of 41 male rugby athletes from Burnaby, Canada. Using social network analysis (SNA), three measures of centrality were investigated: popularity (i.e., the number of incoming ties a participant receives), gregariousness (i.e., the number of ties leaving from a participant and reaching out to others), and betweenness (i.e., the number of times a person lies between two other individuals). In line with the idea that testosterone and cortisol jointly regulate the emergence of social status, researchers found that individuals with high basal testosterone and low basal cortisol were more popular and more likely to act as connectors among other individuals (i.e., betweenness). The same hormonal profile was not however predictive of gregariousness. Researchers found that cortisol was inversely correlated with gregariousness. Despite the cross-sectional and correlational nature of this research design, these findings represent the first empirical evidence that testosterone and cortisol interact to predict complex measures of social hierarchy position derived from social network analyses.
Keywords: Centrality, Cortisol, Social Network Analyses, Social Status, Testosterone
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