Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Women can navigate better on testosterone

There is an evolutionary explanation.

Women can navigate better when given testosterone, study finds

Wait… what?

Peter Dockrill |11 DEC 2015 | Science Alert
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December 30, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, evolutionary psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Masculinity

Are mass shootings  temper tantrums of low self-esteem, sexually frustrated males rather than a result of religious or political ideology ? This article makes a good case for it.  Check out the “conversation” on the original page for some thought-provoking counterpoints.

The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma | aeon | 27 June, 2016

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July 9, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology, terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who will make a good father?

Highlights two successful but opposite evolutionary strategies for parental care.

Changes in a man’s testosterone level show the kind of parent he will be

Dec 12th 2015 | Economist

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February 13, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, evolution | , , | Leave a comment

Young men are natural fanatics

This fits in with the demographic forecasting where countries with large young populations (as many in the middle east are) are deemed more likely to be involved in uprisings / revolutions / wars.  Shouldn’t we be teaching this to all the children so they know what their hormones are doing to their brains?

What every dictator knows: young men are natural fanatics

Joe Herbert (Edited by Ed Lake) | 01 February, 2016| Aeon
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February 13, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making | , , , | Leave a comment

Women make better traders

Testosterone makes male traders more susceptible to “irrational exuberance”.  From the Sep. 24th, 2011 print edition of The Economist:

Traders’ brains: Rogue hormones

Bad trade? Blame the adrenal cortex

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January 30, 2012 Posted by | behaviour, investing | , , , | Leave a comment

Sex hormones: For the birds

Aggressiveness (a measure of which is the ratio of lengths of the ring finger to index finger) is assumed to be dependent on the testosterone exposure in utero.   The study described in this article claims that instead it is dependent of the body’s response to fetal estrogen. So far, tha claim is based on birds only.  From The Economist, June 12, 2010:

Sex hormones: For the birds

September 1, 2011 Posted by | behaviour | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much of the ability to lead is genetic?

How much of the ability to lead is genetic? Nature vs nurture as applied to management is discussed. From The Economist, September 25, 2010:

The biology of business

Homo administrans

Biologists have brought rigour to psychology, sociology and even economics. Now they are turning their attention to the softest science of all: management

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March 12, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, brain, business, genes | , , , | Leave a comment

The power of posture

I already blogged about how posing yourself in a dominant posture raises your testosterone levels in “Strike a dominant pose to reduce stress”. The research described backs this up: if you pose yourself like a leader, you will feel like one.

From The Economist, January 15th, 2011:

The power of posture

How you hold yourself affects how you view yourself

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January 18, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Strike a dominant pose to reduce stress

It seems that just striking a powerful pose will increase your testosterone levels and decrease your cortisol (stress hormone).  Multiple implications, including those on risk taking and decision making.

Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It

Published: September 20, 2010
Author: Julia Hanna

Executive Summary:

Nervous about an upcoming presentation or job interview? Holding one’s body in “high-power” poses for short time periods can summon an extra surge of power and sense of well-being when it’s needed, according to Harvard Business School professor Amy J.C. Cuddy. Key concepts include:

  • Holding one’s body in expansive, “high-power” poses for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol.
  • In addition to causing hormonal shifts, power poses lead to increased feelings of power and a greater tolerance for risk.
  • People often are more influenced by how they feel about you than by what you’re saying.
  • The research has broad implications for people who suffer from feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem due to their hierarchical rank or lack of resources.

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September 20, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Market boom/bust cycles are men’s fault

…well, actually, it’s the testosterone… from BBC News, and below it, TIME Magazine’s take on it:

Hormones ‘may fuel market crises’

Hormone surges among City traders could be partly responsible for driving “boom and bust” economics, say researchers. Continue reading

April 15, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, economics, emotions | , , , , , | Leave a comment