Scientists from the University of Cambridge have just discovered that you get a testosterone boost not only when you win a competition against another man, but also when you think you’re winning.
So even if you actually lost, but you believe you won, you get an increase in testosterone production.
In the study, men who believed they were winners had testosterone levels 14.5% higher their defeated opponents, regardless of whether they had actually won.
Previous studies have shown that winning competitions can affect male hormones, but it was not clear whether this was down the exertion required to win or whether it was psychologically driven.
There are two interesting takeaways from this study:
1) When you win against another man, your body produces more testosterone. Why? More testosterone will make you more likely to want to reproduce (or have sex). So when your social status changes in a group to be that of a stong or fit man, you are more likely to reproduce.
2) A change in social status can change a male’s reproductive strategy to become short-term in the sense that the male intends to mate with many females in a short time-period.
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