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Journal Article

Testosterone and Chess Competition

Allan Mazur, Alan Booth and James M. Dabbs Jr.
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 1 (Mar., 1992), pp. 70-77
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786687
Page Count: 8

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Topics: Games, Testosterone, Chess, Hormones, Human aggression, Saliva, Athletic competition, Contests, Men, Meetings
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Testosterone and Chess Competition
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Abstract

The hormone testosterone (T) has a central role in recent theories about allocation of status ranks during face-to-face competition. It has been methodologically convenient to test the hypothesized T mechanism in physically taxing athletic contests, where results have been supportive, although their generalizability to normal social competition is questionable. Competition among chess players is a step closer to normal social competition because it does not require physical struggle, and it is the arena for tests of the T mechanism which are reported here. We find that winners of chess tournaments show higher T levels than do losers. Also, in certain circumstances, competitors show rises in T before their games, as if in preparation for the contests. These results generally support recent theories about the role of T in the allocation of status ranks.

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