Study: Even in dominoes, testosterone a factor

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on May 4th, 2015
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- A University of Missouri study has found that male testosterone levels during competition varies depending on relationships among the competitors - and may be related to the formation of alliances in war.

The study, released Thursday, tracked men on the island of Dominica playing dominoes or cricket. It concluded that sporting events can bring camaraderie to a community and fuel rivalries, with testosterone levels rising or falling depending on who is involved.

Anthropology professor Mark Flinn says testosterone levels increased during and after victories over strangers or rivals, but didn't change much when friends competed against each other. Offering an example, he said a Missouri game against longtime rival Kansas would likely prompt a ''huge increase'' in testosterone during the game and after a win for players and fans.

''Our hormonal reactions while competing are part of how we evolved as a cooperative species,'' Flinn said. ''The fascinating thing about humans is that whether we are watching or playing the sport, we have the ability to put interactions among the whole team in our heads.''




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Study: Even in dominoes, testosterone a factor

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