Saturday, July 31, 2010

Want to Increase Your Testosterone? Better Have Your Right Answers

Although this is not a typical SuppVersity-study, it is yet related to both education and endocrinology: Flegr and Priplotova from the Charles University in Praha found that testosterone and cortisol levels in university students reflect actual rather than estimated number of wrong answers on written exam (Flegr. 2010). The scientists measured testosterone and cortisol levels in response to a written exam in students of the undergraduate biology program of their university. The results were surprising:
"The number of wrong answers was a better predictor of the hormonal changes (increase in successful, decrease in unsuccessful students) than the self-estimated number of wrong answers or a subjectively opinionated impression from the exam." (Flegr. 2010)
So, while high testosterone to cortisol ratios before the exams did correlate negatively with self-estimated number of wrong answers, the bodies of the subjects reacted to what I suspect was an increased feeling of distress, due to higher perceived task-difficulty in those students who answered incorrectly. Bottom-Line: Go to your next exam rested and well prepared to keep testosterone high and cortisol low.