Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Richard B. Slatcher


Previous research shows that testosterone reactivity to competitive outcomes predicts aggressive behavior in men. However, some studies have failed to find these effects, and it has been suggested that individual differences moderate the relationships between competitive outcomes, testosterone fluctuations, and aggressive behavior. The current research examined whether one individual difference--self-construal--would moderate these effects. In Study 1, participants were assigned to win or lose a competitive video game and engaged in a reactive aggression task. Results indicated that increases in testosterone in response to winning and decreases in response to losing occurred in men with independent, not interdependent, self-construals. These changes in testosterone mediated the effects of winning and losing on aggressive behavior only in independent men. In Study 2, participants were assigned to win or lose a competition as an individual or part of a team, and completed a novel measure of risk taking. Although analyses found that, unlike Study1, testosterone and competitive outcomes interacted to predict risk taking. However, these effects were again specific to men with independent self-construals. These results suggest for the first time that testosterone's association with antisocial behaviors is a function of how individuals think of the self in relation to others.