Exploring the effect of attachment styles and winning or losing a status contest on testosterone levels
Frontiers in Psychology , Volume 9 - Issue JUL
A person's ability to form relationships and seek and attain social status affects their chances of survival. We study how anxious and avoidant-attachment styles and subsequent winning or losing affects the testosterone (T) levels of team members playing two status contests. The first is a management game played by teams striving to earn the most profits. Winners and losers emerge due to the cognitive endeavor of the players, which provokes intense status dynamics. Avoidant-attached winners do not show higher T levels whereas anxious-attached winners do. The second is an economic game which is rigged and favors some teams to become richer than others; teams have the option though to trade with each other and reduce the self-perpetuating rich-poor dynamics embedded in the game. Besides attachment styles, we here also explore how authentic pride as a self-conscious emotion affects team members' T levels as players trade with others to create more fairness. As in the first status contest, players' T levels are not significantly affected by their avoidant attachment style, neither as a main effect nor in interaction with winning or losing the game. However, similar to the first game, players' anxious attachment style affects their T levels: anxious-attached players generate significantly higher T levels when winning the game, but only when experiencing high authentic pride during the game. In short, the moderating effects of attachment style on winners' T levels are partly replicated in both status games which allows us to better understand the functioning of working models of attachment styles during and after status contests and gives us a better understanding of working models of attachment styles in general.
|Anxious attachment style, Authentic pride, Avoidant attachment style, Status games, Testosterone|
|Frontiers in Psychology|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of Economics|
Verbeke, W.J.M.I, Belschak, F.D, Ein-Dor, T, Bagozzi, R.P, & Schippers, M.C. (2018). Exploring the effect of attachment styles and winning or losing a status contest on testosterone levels. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(JUL). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01051