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:
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.
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