The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Testosterone disrupts human collaboration by increasing egocentric choices

Wright, Nicholas D.; Bahrami, Bahador; Johnson, Emily; Di Malta, Gina; Rees, Geraint; Frith, Christopher D. and Dolan, Raymond J. (2012). Testosterone disrupts human collaboration by increasing egocentric choices. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1736) pp. 2275–2280.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (385kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.2523
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Collaboration can provide benefits to the individual and the group across a variety of contexts. Even in simple perceptual tasks, the aggregation of individuals' personal information can enable enhanced group decision-making. However, in certain circumstances such collaboration can worsen performance, or even expose an individual to exploitation in economic tasks, and therefore a balance needs to be struck between a collaborative and a more egocentric disposition. Neurohumoral agents such as oxytocin are known to promote collaborative behaviours in economic tasks, but whether there are opponent agents, and whether these might even affect information aggregation without an economic component, is unknown. Here, we show that an androgen hormone, testosterone, acts as such an agent. Testosterone causally disrupted collaborative decision-making in a perceptual decision task, markedly reducing performance benefit individuals accrued from collaboration while leaving individual decision-making ability unaffected. This effect emerged because testosterone engendered more egocentric choices, manifest in an overweighting of one's own relative to others' judgements during joint decision-making. Our findings show that the biological control of social behaviour is dynamically regulated not only by modulators promoting, but also by those diminishing a propensity to collaborate.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Royal Society
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: collaboration; testosterone; information aggregation; social
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 61873
Depositing User: Gina Di Malta
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 13:19
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2019 05:24
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/61873
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU