Testosterone and Human Social Status

Testosterone is a major sex steroid that plays a large role in sexual function and development of secondary sexual attributes. Both filed and laboratory studies showed that testosterone is associated with aggression and competitive behaviour. Recent research suggests that the role of testosterone in human social behaviour is best understood in terms of the search for social status. In the first part, I will first show how testosterone affects human conspicuous consumption, i.e. the acquisition of goods for status signaling rather than its inherent value. In the second part, I will present some of my recent work showing that testosterone administration increases sensitivity to social reputation in a donation task. Implications to social status hypothesis will be discussed.