Testosterone Makes Women More Opinionated in Groups
When working asِ a group, women whoِ haveِ high testosterone inِ their systems reach decisions thatِ areِ more selfish, newِ research suggests.
While working inِ a group — suchِ asِ a trial jury — canِ beِ tough, itِ usually means reaching a betterِ decision thanِ anyِ individual wouldِ make.
The researchers found, however, thatِ groups ofِ women givenِ testosterone wereِ lessِ productive thanِ those whoِ weren’tِ hormoned up.
Group versus self
This self-interest isn’tِ allِ bad, becauseِ groups canِ beِ asِ problematic asِ they areِ helpful.
Groupthink happensِ when individuals inِ a group lose theِ ability toِ thinkِ independently.
In theseِ cases, individuals whoِ areِ more self-focused avoid negative group effects.
In groups, humans face a tension between cooperating and acting more self-interested, Wright noted.
In instances suchِ asِ a jury consideringِ a verdict, collaborating results inِ a betterِ decision.
If tooِ manyِ individuals areِ trying toِ beِ the dominant individual, theyِ mayِ miss outِ onِ the benefits ofِ collaboration andِ miss outِ onِ important insights fromِ other group members, Wright said.
In theِ study, 17 pairs ofِ women, average age 21, wereِ tested twice: onceِ afterِ being givenِ a placebo andِ once severalِ hours afterِ taking 80 milligrams ofِ testosterone.
The researchers saidِ they usedِ women becauseِ giving testosterone toِ healthy men wouldِ mess upِ theirِ natural hormone balance, muddying theِ results ofِ the experiment.
After receiving theِ testosterone, eachِ pair ofِ women played a computer game inِ which theyِ hadِ to decide whetherِ oneِ image wasِ brighter orِ darker thanِ another.
When testosterone wasِ given, theِ hormone disrupted theِ two women’s ability toِ work togetherِ andِ come toِ a mutual decision, Wright said.
If youِ areِ more egocentric, youِ areِ more likelyِ to thinkِ you areِ right, Wright said.
These women wereِ moreِ likelyِ to sayِ they wereِ rightِ when theyِ were onِ testosterone thanِ when theyِ were onِ placebo.