Science & Technology
5:00 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Testosterone Affects Economic Decisions

Researchers at Duke University say testosterone affects people’s willingness to take economic risks. Associate professor of psychology and neuroscience Scott Huettel says men and women with high or low levels of testosterone are more likely to take risks in economic situations:

"Testosterone is important, but it’s equally important for men and women it turns out. Your level of testosterone matters quite a lot to how risk-seeking you are, but it matters in much the same for women as it does for men."

The experiment examined what nearly 300 people did when given the chance to risk actual money for increased profit. Huettel says some people blame the country’s recent economic meltdown on men with high testosterone levels, but this research suggests it’s more complicated. He says that more research is needed about how testosterone affects people’s willingness to take risks in other situations as well. The research is published in this month’s issue of Psychological Science.