Experimental raising or lowering of testosterone level affects mood in normal men and women

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James M. Dabbs, Jr.
Anthony E. Karpas
Natalia Dyomina
Jennifer Juechter
Amanda Roberts
Cite this article:  Dabbs, Jr., J., Karpas, A., Dyomina, N., Juechter, J., & Roberts, A. (2002). Experimental raising or lowering of testosterone level affects mood in normal men and women. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 30(8), 795-806.


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In 2 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled experiments, 63 normal nonclinical men and women received treatments designed to raise or lower their testosterone levels. 16 men and 17 women applied testosterone or placebo gel to their skin for 5-day periods, and 13 men and 17 women ingested capsules of licorice extract (which lowers testosterone) or placebo for 4-day periods. Participants described their feelings on daily check lists, wrote paragraphs summarizing their experience, and completed implicit-attitude measures. Testosterone increased arousal and hostility, and licorice decreased energy and positive affect. Reactions were stronger among women than compared to men.


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