Hormones, Pheromones and Human Behaviour

Understanding hormones and evaluating pheromones is a major part of the biological level of analysis and understanding human behavior in general. 

For example, the amount of testosterone in one’s body is a kecorrelative indicator regarding whether or not they’ll serve time in prison!

Love as a drug? Helen Fisher on Dopamine and the Addiction of love:

Study Abstract:


In Laymen’s Terms:



Hormones are similar to neurotransmitters in that they activate cells in our body.  Specifically however,  a hormone is a long distance chemical mediator that is secreted by an endocrine gland into the blood which is transported to target cells; whereas a neurotransmitter is a short distance messenger that is active in the synaptic cleft of neurons. 

The Hormones we’ll be examining are Oxytocin, Testosterone and Adrenaline.


Investigating Testosterone and Violence article analysis learning helper


Dabbs and Frady (1987) on Testosterone and Violent Offenders: 

Study: Men in Committed relationships have lower testosterone

OXYTOCIN–“The Cuddle Hormone”

Oxytocin is famously referred to as the “cuddle hormone” and made famous by a variety of different research. 

Read the summaries of research below: 

Oxytocin and it’s role in married men keeping attractive women at a distance….Scheele et al. 2012

Oxytocin as facilitating “spontaneous maternal behavior” in Prairie voles. Also, when blocked, maternal behavior stops…Young et al 2006


General coverage of the topic

http://www.economist.com/node/2424049  — Economist’s coverage

http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm  — Crib notes Version

Testosterone–“The Aggression Sex Hormone”

Read the two pieces below. One is an abstract regarding a correlational analysis of testosterone levels of violent offenders in prison and the other is a Psychology Today article summarizing much of the research on the subject. Both are of high value:

Dabbs and Frady (1987) on Testosterone and Violent Offenders: HERE




Evaluating Pheromones Learning Helper