A meta-analytical evaluation of the dual-hormone hypothesis: Does cortisol moderate the relationship between testosterone and status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy?

Tycho J. Dekkers, Joost A. Agelink van Rentergem, Bren Meijer, Arne Popma, Eline Wagemaker, Hilde M. Huizenga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, the relationship between testosterone and status-relevant behavior is moderated by cortisol, suggesting this relationship only exists when cortisol is low. In the current study, a meta-analysis (including 30 papers with 33 studies, 49 effect sizes, n = 8538) on the interaction effect of testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior (i.e. status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy) was performed. There was only marginal support for the dual-hormone hypothesis: The effect size of the interaction between testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior was significant but very small (r = -.061, p =.026), which was corroborated by follow-up meta-analyses on simple slopes on low and high cortisol. Effect sizes were largest for direct status measures, although not significantly different from other outcome measures. Similarly, effect sizes seemed larger for men than for women. However, robustness analyses indicated signs of publication bias, enhanced significance due to potential flexibility in data-analysis, and a lack of power of individual studies, emphasizing the need for a large, pre-registered study.
LanguageEnglish
Pages250-271
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Cite this

@article{1554c453051547eda0a93c8d1827a9b7,
title = "A meta-analytical evaluation of the dual-hormone hypothesis: Does cortisol moderate the relationship between testosterone and status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy?",
abstract = "According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, the relationship between testosterone and status-relevant behavior is moderated by cortisol, suggesting this relationship only exists when cortisol is low. In the current study, a meta-analysis (including 30 papers with 33 studies, 49 effect sizes, n = 8538) on the interaction effect of testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior (i.e. status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy) was performed. There was only marginal support for the dual-hormone hypothesis: The effect size of the interaction between testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior was significant but very small (r = -.061, p =.026), which was corroborated by follow-up meta-analyses on simple slopes on low and high cortisol. Effect sizes were largest for direct status measures, although not significantly different from other outcome measures. Similarly, effect sizes seemed larger for men than for women. However, robustness analyses indicated signs of publication bias, enhanced significance due to potential flexibility in data-analysis, and a lack of power of individual studies, emphasizing the need for a large, pre-registered study.",
author = "Dekkers, {Tycho J.} and {van Rentergem}, {Joost A. Agelink} and Bren Meijer and Arne Popma and Eline Wagemaker and Huizenga, {Hilde M.}",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.12.004",
language = "English",
volume = "96",
pages = "250--271",
journal = "Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews",
issn = "0149-7634",
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}

A meta-analytical evaluation of the dual-hormone hypothesis: Does cortisol moderate the relationship between testosterone and status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy? / Dekkers, Tycho J.; van Rentergem, Joost A. Agelink; Meijer, Bren; Popma, Arne; Wagemaker, Eline; Huizenga, Hilde M.

In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 96, 2019, p. 250-271.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A meta-analytical evaluation of the dual-hormone hypothesis: Does cortisol moderate the relationship between testosterone and status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy?

AU - Dekkers,Tycho J.

AU - van Rentergem,Joost A. Agelink

AU - Meijer,Bren

AU - Popma,Arne

AU - Wagemaker,Eline

AU - Huizenga,Hilde M.

PY - 2019

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N2 - According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, the relationship between testosterone and status-relevant behavior is moderated by cortisol, suggesting this relationship only exists when cortisol is low. In the current study, a meta-analysis (including 30 papers with 33 studies, 49 effect sizes, n = 8538) on the interaction effect of testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior (i.e. status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy) was performed. There was only marginal support for the dual-hormone hypothesis: The effect size of the interaction between testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior was significant but very small (r = -.061, p =.026), which was corroborated by follow-up meta-analyses on simple slopes on low and high cortisol. Effect sizes were largest for direct status measures, although not significantly different from other outcome measures. Similarly, effect sizes seemed larger for men than for women. However, robustness analyses indicated signs of publication bias, enhanced significance due to potential flexibility in data-analysis, and a lack of power of individual studies, emphasizing the need for a large, pre-registered study.

AB - According to the dual-hormone hypothesis, the relationship between testosterone and status-relevant behavior is moderated by cortisol, suggesting this relationship only exists when cortisol is low. In the current study, a meta-analysis (including 30 papers with 33 studies, 49 effect sizes, n = 8538) on the interaction effect of testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior (i.e. status, dominance, risk taking, aggression, and psychopathy) was performed. There was only marginal support for the dual-hormone hypothesis: The effect size of the interaction between testosterone and cortisol on status-relevant behavior was significant but very small (r = -.061, p =.026), which was corroborated by follow-up meta-analyses on simple slopes on low and high cortisol. Effect sizes were largest for direct status measures, although not significantly different from other outcome measures. Similarly, effect sizes seemed larger for men than for women. However, robustness analyses indicated signs of publication bias, enhanced significance due to potential flexibility in data-analysis, and a lack of power of individual studies, emphasizing the need for a large, pre-registered study.

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