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New study on stereotype about hormones and behavior

April 20th, 2009

Stereotype about effect of sex hormones estrogen and testosterone on a risk taken behavior was backed up by studies. But in most cases it was correlation studies. To check this hypothesis a new study has been done by Niklas Zethraeus “A randomized trial of the effect of estrogen and testosterone on economic behavior“. This study shows what it was correlation, not a causation in later studies. This was a double-blind randomized study with two-hundred participants what is large enough to take significant statistic results.

Participants were randomly allocated to 4 weeks of treatment with estrogen, testosterone, or placebo. At the end of the treatment period, the subjects participated in a series of economic experiments that measure altruism, reciprocal fairness, trust, trustworthiness, and risk attitudes. There was no significant effect of estrogen or testosterone on any of the studied behaviors.
Contrary to our hypotheses, there were no significant differences between the 3 treatment groups for any of the studied economic behaviors (Mann–Whitney U test, P > 0.05 for all pairwise comparisons, 2-sided).

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