Mazur 10. (conclusions)

From: Lyne Kate (kml295@soton.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 12 1998 - 10:08:35 BST


   Can someone reply to me and tell me if they have got this? It keeps
getting sent back to me!

Here are my comments about the conclusions drawn by Mazur.

   Although we regard the correlation between T and dominant or
   antisocial behavior as well supported, heightened T has not been
   established as a cause of these behaviors.

As there is this evidence of correlation rather than causation, could it
be possible that there is a third, perhaps as yet unidentified, factor
which is the cause of both heightned T and aggression. Could it be
possible that the research has focused on the narrow field of T and
aggression and has ignored some other factor. This could either be
Physiological - another hormone, or social factors that are causing both
T and aggression. This is just a thought.

   There is strong correlational and experimental evidence that T
   responds in predictable ways both before and after competitions for
   status. First, T rises shortly before a competitive event, as if
   anticipating the challenge. Second, after the conclusion of
   competition, T in winners rises relative to that of losers. T also
   rises after status elevations, and it falls after status demotions.
   These effects require the presence of appropriate mood changes --
   elation or dejection -- accompanying the status changes. --

Is this just a response when elation and dejection are elicited as a
result of aggression I wonder? Does T rise or fall when these emotions
occur in other situations? ALthough this is related to dominance, it
would not be related to aggression necessarily.

   The experience of losing depresses T, encouraging a switch from
   dominant to deferential behavior. This mechanism explains the
   momentum associated with winning or losing streaks.

Presumably this is about protecting oneself in the light of danger - not
to continue to risk harm from the competator if he has already shown
that he is more dominant than you. Is this response limited by time
factors I wonder? How soon will T levels rise again when the next lots
of competition occurs?

   The applicability of one model or the other would be elucidated by
   studying the relationship of T to behavior among upper class men who
   have favorable social opportunities and strong incentives for
   prosocial behaviour

Presumably these men would have the highest level of T in relation to
the most opportunity for dominance.b The environment would promote
competition.

Lyne Kate



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