Explain the function of two hormones on human behavior A hormone is “a regulatory substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood or sap to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action. ” (Oxford Dictionary) One example of a hormone is Testosterone.
This hormone is a function of human behavior because it is said to play a significant role in health and well being, especially in males. Wagner et al demonstrated this theory in a study in 1980. He utilized 10 seven-week-old male and female mice – the mice were placed in an apparatus with a bite target held in place by a telegraph key and the biting and/or tugging actions were observed and recorded.
The experiment consisted of four conditions: (1) 5 male mice were tested first with no testosterone injection, and then were castrated; they were studied for six sessions (2) 5 male mice were treated with the same procedure as mice in group 1 respect to injection dosage, but they received sham operations (3 and 4) each group consisted of 5 male mice, and the pattern for treatment of these mice was the same as those of groups 1 and 2, but the mice in group 3 were ovariectomized and those of group 4 received sham operations. Estrogen however, was initially given to these females rather than testosterone propionate.
Estrogen injections continued for nine days and were followed by two days of vehicle injections and then by 14 days of testosterone propionate. Finally, six days of vehicle injections followed the hormone injections. The results were as expected; they found that those who were injected with testosterone propionate had a reduced behavior of aggression, and testosterone restores aggression in castrated mice. However, injecting testosterone is not sufficient to turn a previously non-aggressive mouse into an aggressive mouse – it only worked when the mouse was aggressive before the injection. Another type of hormone is Oxytocin.
The hormone plays a key role in affecting social behavior; it is claimed to increase the level of trust and generosity in humans. Pinon et al displayed evidence for this claim in 2010 when he studied sixty participants (matched pairs design) who were randomly assigned to receive either Oxytocin or a placebo. They were given a questionnaire that asked them to share personal information and, although they were told that information would be kept confidential (and the results will be processed electronically on computer), they were allowed to tape and glue their questionnaires in envelopes for their privacy rights. 0% of participants with placebo glued and taped their envelopes; whereas, 60% of participants that were injected Oxytocin left their envelopes completely open to give to the researchers. This manifests that oxytocin does increase trust and that its effects extend beyond money. Specifically, participants on Oxytocin were 44 times more trusting that their privacy would not be violated than participants on placebo. To conclude, it is evident that hormones play a function in human behavior, however this does not mean there is a direct link between the two and we must consider the relationship as more of a correlation.