Hormones and Choice

The most consistent feature of human choice behaviour is perhaps its variability, both between individuals and across different situational contexts. One important source of such variability is hormone-levels, which can vary considerably both between individuals (e.g. sex hormones) and within individuals across different situations. Recent research has begun to examine how manipulating hormone-levels influences various aspects of decision-making, such as sensitivity to punishment, reward, risk, fairness, moral judgments, etc. In our lab, we focus mainly on the effects of testosterone and oxytocin. Findings include enhanced conformity after raising oxytocin-levels, and decreased trust but enhanced reciprocity after raising testosterone-levels.