PSY230H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Casual Sex, Human Sexuality, Serotonin Transporter

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31 Oct 2018
School
Department
Course
Which statement about modern evolutionary theory of human sexuality is
CORRECT?
A. It predicts that women are never interested in casual sex.
B. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when they are not in a
committed relationship.
C. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex if they do not have children.
D. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex with a highly attractive male.
E. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when women outnumber men.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Gender differences in sexual attitudes still exist in traditional cultures, but not in
modern cultures.
B. Gender differences in attitudes have decreased, but gender differences in
behaviors have remained the same over the past decades.
C. Gender differences in sexual behaviors still exist and they explain more than 80% of
the variation in sexual behaviors.
D. Gender differences in behaviors still exist but they explain less than 50% of the
variance in sexual attitudes.
E. Gender differences for most sexual behaviors have disappeared except for the
number of sexual partners.
I presented data on the stability of various personality characteristics (e.g.,
attractiveness, intelligence, Big Five), after taking measurement error into account.
Based on these correlations, what is the probability that an individual who is above
average in intelligence is still above average in intelligence five years later.
A. 51-60%
B. 61-70%
C. 71-80%
D. 81-90%
E. 91-100%
A twin studies of life-satisfaction (LS) found a correlation of r= .4 for MZ twins and a
correlation of r= .1 for DZ twins. What can we conclude from this finding?
A. The shared environment has a strong effect on LS.
B. Heritability of LS is 60%.
C. Genes and the shared environment matter.
D. Genes have a stronger influence than the environment.
E. The effects of genes on LS are complicated (non-additive).
Genetic and Environmental Effects on Personality: The Evidence
Heritability of the Big Five
There have been dozens of twin studies of personality traits (mainly E and N, but also
O, A, and C).
The typical textbook estimate of heritability for the Big Five is 40% to 50%.
Estimates are attenuated by measurement error. One multi-method study found
heritability estimates around 70%.
The estimates for shared environment are typically close to 0%!!!
Shared Environment and Adult Personality
Evidence suggests that shared environment has a stronger contribution on personality
in studies of children than in studies of adults.
This finding suggests that environment contributes to personality, but does not have
lasting effects.
When the environment changes, personality changes.
Longitudinal Twin Studies
Studying twins over time.
Possible to examine the contribution of genes to stability of personality.
Typical finding:
- genes contribute to stability
- environment contributes to change
Example: 80% heritability of stable disposition to be cheerful over a 10-year period
(Lykken & Tellegen, 1996).
Summary
Shared environment (parents) has a weak influence on personality traits (Big Five).
Shared environment has an influence on some behaviors (e.g., smoking).
Shared environment effects tend to be stronger for children than for adults.
The Direct Approach: Linking Genetic Markers to Personality
Twin Studies examine genetic influences indirectly.
Nowadays genetic testing is possible.
New studies try to link genetic markers (individual differences in genes) to personality
traits.
Serotonin Transporter Gene and Neuroticism: A Cautionary Tale
Variation in the serotonin transporter gene
(5-HTTLPR)
Early studies suggested a link with neuroticism
- I cited these studies in previous years in PSY230
Meta-Analyses found no clear effect
New study with large sample found no effect.
Hard to find single genes that contribute to personality (small effect, unreliable
results).
Practical Implications
Using DNA samples to measure personality is not possible.
The best way to find out about your personality is still to systematically study your
own feelings and behaviors.
Gene x Environment Interaction
It is possible that genetic and environmental factors interact (person x situation
interaction).
Gene-environment interactions were difficult to test empirically before genetic testing
became available.
Gene-environment interactions are particularly interesting because they demonstrate
that genetic effects are not inevitable.
Gene x Environment Interaction: Example
Participants. 847 Caucasian members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and
Development Study.
Genotype. Participants were divided into three groups on the basis of their 5-HTTLPR
genotype:
(a) two copies of the s [short] allele (s/s, N = 147; 17%)
(b) one copy of the s allele and one copy of the l [long] allele (s/l, N = 435; 51%)
(c) two copies of the l allele (l/l N=265; 31%).
Stress. Stressful life-events (e.g., health, financial, relationship) between age 21 and
26 were assessed at age 26. Stressful events were unrelated to 5-HTTLPR genotype
(no gene-environment correlation).
Depression. Depression was assessed with three methods:
-Self-Report
- Informant reports. Depression was also assessed by means of informant reports.
- Clinical assessment. A diagnostic interview. 17% of the participants were diagnosed
with depression.
Uncertainty
Caspi et al. (2003) “Until this study's findings are replicated, speculation about clinical
implications is premature”
- Risch et al. (2009). Failure to replicate finding in a meta-analysis of 14 studies.
Wankerl et al. (2010). Problems in the meta-analysis. Failure maybe due to studies
that used self-report measures of stressful events.
Conclusion
-Single-gene studies make it very difficult to obtain conclusive results.
Conclusion
Twin studies suggest high heritability.
So far, molecular genetics studies have failed to find genes that predict personality.
Practical Implications
Like it or not, plastic surgery is a common procedure to change physical appearance.
Like it or not, gene therapy and designer babies are still science fiction - but for how
long?
Physiology of personality
Testosterone Levels as a Trait
Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
Women also have testosterone although levels are much lower.
Rank-order stability. Both men and women differ in their typical levels of
testosterone. Retest correlations are .50 over a period of 10 years (Booth & Dabbs,
1993; Mazur & Michalek, 1998).
Absolute Stability. Absolute levels decrease with age after a peak at age 20.
Heritabilty. Testosterone levels are partially inherited (heritability = 60%; Meilke et al.,
1987).
Other Evidence
Married men with children had lower testosterone levels than married men without
children (Gray, Kahlenberg, Barrett, Lipson, & Ellison, 2002)
Testosterone levels of men in a committed relationship were more similar to those of
married men than to those of unmarried men (Burnham, Chapman, Gray, McIntyre,
Lipson, & Ellison, 2003)
Causality?
A. Trait theory: testosterone level is a cause of stable marriage and divorce.
- Testosterone increases attractiveness
- Attractiveness increases value of mininal
investment strategy
B. Mate theory: getting married lowers testosterone levels
- High testosterone levels increase the risk of
infidelity
- Providing resources for wife and offsprings
increases fitness
C. Both D. Neither
Married men with high testosterone levels…
were more likely to report hitting or throwing things at their wives
to leave home because of trouble with their wives
to have extra-marital sex
to get a divorce
“Sources close to the spouses say the collapse of the marriage was caused by multiple
allegations of the aging action star’s marital infidelities, his increasingly over-the-top
ego trips and Shriver’s realization she played a very minor role in the script of
Schwarzenegger’s life.”
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/zwecker/5293358-452/arnold-will-not-be-
back.html
General Conclusion
Testosterone levels are correlated with marital status.
High testosterone levels may be a risk factor for having a stable, faithful marriage.
A stable, faithful marriage may be a “risk factor” for low testosterone levels.
Future research needs to examine how testosterone levels influence actual behaviors
in marriages.
Hormones: An Afterthought
Hormones primary function is to communicate between the brain and peripheral
organs.
Concentrations of hormones in the blood are unlikely to be strongly related to the
brain processes that regulate behavior, feelings, and thought.
Research on the biological processes in the brain are going to be more important for
the understanding of personality.
Personality and the Brain: Serotonergic System
- influences many different brain areas that regulate different functions (mood, sleep,
eating, sexuality)
Drugs that selectively influence Serotonin
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are legal drugs that influence
serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
The illegal drug “Ecstasy” also influences serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
SSRIs block the reuptake mechanism, which prolongs the stimulation of dendrites.
Ecstasy reverses the reuptake mechanism which depletes the axon of serotonin.
You cannot get high on Ecstasy while you are taking SSRIs because the SSRI blocks the
reuptake mechanism.
Ecstasy enters the axon through the reversed reuptake mechanism, which may
damage the axon.
Ecstasy depletes the cell of serotonin, and people may feel depressed while serotonin
levels are restored (hang-over).
Personal Relevance
If you suffer from excessive depression/anxiety that interferes with your daily
functioning and makes it impossible for you to feel good about yourself and your life,
you should consult your physician or health services and request to see a
psychotherapist and/or psychiatrist.
Drug-Induced Changes in Personality
Participants. 51 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to a placebo group or a
treatment group (20mg of paroxetin = Paxil).
Procedure.
- The levels of paroxetine in the blood were recorded daily.
- Participants’ mood (Positive Affect, Negative Affect) was assessed over the next four
weeks.
Conclusions
SSRIs lower neuroticism scores.
Other drugs also lower neuroticism.
SSRIs also influenced extraversion.
No simple relation between neurotransmitters and traits.
Week 7
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
12:02 PM
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This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
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Which statement about modern evolutionary theory of human sexuality is
CORRECT?
A. It predicts that women are never interested in casual sex.
B. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when they are not in a
committed relationship.
C. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex if they do not have children.
D. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex with a highly attractive male.
E. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when women outnumber men.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Gender differences in sexual attitudes still exist in traditional cultures, but not in
modern cultures.
B. Gender differences in attitudes have decreased, but gender differences in
behaviors have remained the same over the past decades.
C. Gender differences in sexual behaviors still exist and they explain more than 80% of
the variation in sexual behaviors.
D. Gender differences in behaviors still exist but they explain less than 50% of the
variance in sexual attitudes.
E. Gender differences for most sexual behaviors have disappeared except for the
number of sexual partners.
I presented data on the stability of various personality characteristics (e.g.,
attractiveness, intelligence, Big Five), after taking measurement error into account.
Based on these correlations, what is the probability that an individual who is above
average in intelligence is still above average in intelligence five years later.
A. 51-60%
B. 61-70%
C. 71-80%
D. 81-90%
E. 91-100%
A twin studies of life-satisfaction (LS) found a correlation of r= .4 for MZ twins and a
correlation of r= .1 for DZ twins. What can we conclude from this finding?
A. The shared environment has a strong effect on LS.
B. Heritability of LS is 60%.
C. Genes and the shared environment matter.
D. Genes have a stronger influence than the environment.
E. The effects of genes on LS are complicated (non-additive).
Genetic and Environmental Effects on Personality: The Evidence
Heritability of the Big Five
There have been dozens of twin studies of personality traits (mainly E and N, but also
O, A, and C).
The typical textbook estimate of heritability for the Big Five is 40% to 50%.
Estimates are attenuated by measurement error. One multi-method study found
heritability estimates around 70%.
The estimates for shared environment are typically close to 0%!!!
Shared Environment and Adult Personality
Evidence suggests that shared environment has a stronger contribution on personality
in studies of children than in studies of adults.
This finding suggests that environment contributes to personality, but does not have
lasting effects.
When the environment changes, personality changes.
Longitudinal Twin Studies
Studying twins over time.
Possible to examine the contribution of genes to stability of personality.
Typical finding:
- genes contribute to stability
- environment contributes to change
Example: 80% heritability of stable disposition to be cheerful over a 10-year period
(Lykken & Tellegen, 1996).
Summary
Shared environment (parents) has a weak influence on personality traits (Big Five).
Shared environment has an influence on some behaviors (e.g., smoking).
Shared environment effects tend to be stronger for children than for adults.
The Direct Approach: Linking Genetic Markers to Personality
Twin Studies examine genetic influences indirectly.
Nowadays genetic testing is possible.
New studies try to link genetic markers (individual differences in genes) to personality
traits.
Serotonin Transporter Gene and Neuroticism: A Cautionary Tale
Variation in the serotonin transporter gene
(5-HTTLPR)
Early studies suggested a link with neuroticism
- I cited these studies in previous years in PSY230
Meta-Analyses found no clear effect
New study with large sample found no effect.
Hard to find single genes that contribute to personality (small effect, unreliable
results).
Practical Implications
Using DNA samples to measure personality is not possible.
The best way to find out about your personality is still to systematically study your
own feelings and behaviors.
Gene x Environment Interaction
It is possible that genetic and environmental factors interact (person x situation
interaction).
Gene-environment interactions were difficult to test empirically before genetic testing
became available.
Gene-environment interactions are particularly interesting because they demonstrate
that genetic effects are not inevitable.
Gene x Environment Interaction: Example
Participants. 847 Caucasian members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and
Development Study.
Genotype. Participants were divided into three groups on the basis of their 5-HTTLPR
genotype:
(a) two copies of the s [short] allele (s/s, N = 147; 17%)
(b) one copy of the s allele and one copy of the l [long] allele (s/l, N = 435; 51%)
(c) two copies of the l allele (l/l N=265; 31%).
Stress. Stressful life-events (e.g., health, financial, relationship) between age 21 and
26 were assessed at age 26. Stressful events were unrelated to 5-HTTLPR genotype
(no gene-environment correlation).
Depression. Depression was assessed with three methods:
-Self-Report
- Informant reports. Depression was also assessed by means of informant reports.
- Clinical assessment. A diagnostic interview. 17% of the participants were diagnosed
with depression.
Uncertainty
Caspi et al. (2003) “Until this study's findings are replicated, speculation about clinical
implications is premature”
- Risch et al. (2009). Failure to replicate finding in a meta-analysis of 14 studies.
Wankerl et al. (2010). Problems in the meta-analysis. Failure maybe due to studies
that used self-report measures of stressful events.
Conclusion
-Single-gene studies make it very difficult to obtain conclusive results.
Conclusion
Twin studies suggest high heritability.
So far, molecular genetics studies have failed to find genes that predict personality.
Practical Implications
Like it or not, plastic surgery is a common procedure to change physical appearance.
Like it or not, gene therapy and designer babies are still science fiction - but for how
long?
Physiology of personality
Testosterone Levels as a Trait
Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
Women also have testosterone although levels are much lower.
Rank-order stability. Both men and women differ in their typical levels of
testosterone. Retest correlations are .50 over a period of 10 years (Booth & Dabbs,
1993; Mazur & Michalek, 1998).
Absolute Stability. Absolute levels decrease with age after a peak at age 20.
Heritabilty. Testosterone levels are partially inherited (heritability = 60%; Meilke et al.,
1987).
Other Evidence
Married men with children had lower testosterone levels than married men without
children (Gray, Kahlenberg, Barrett, Lipson, & Ellison, 2002)
Testosterone levels of men in a committed relationship were more similar to those of
married men than to those of unmarried men (Burnham, Chapman, Gray, McIntyre,
Lipson, & Ellison, 2003)
Causality?
A. Trait theory: testosterone level is a cause of stable marriage and divorce.
- Testosterone increases attractiveness
- Attractiveness increases value of mininal
investment strategy
B. Mate theory: getting married lowers testosterone levels
- High testosterone levels increase the risk of
infidelity
- Providing resources for wife and offsprings
increases fitness
C. Both D. Neither
Married men with high testosterone levels…
were more likely to report hitting or throwing things at their wives
to leave home because of trouble with their wives
to have extra-marital sex
to get a divorce
“Sources close to the spouses say the collapse of the marriage was caused by multiple
allegations of the aging action star’s marital infidelities, his increasingly over-the-top
ego trips and Shriver’s realization she played a very minor role in the script of
Schwarzenegger’s life.”
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/zwecker/5293358-452/arnold-will-not-be-
back.html
General Conclusion
Testosterone levels are correlated with marital status.
High testosterone levels may be a risk factor for having a stable, faithful marriage.
A stable, faithful marriage may be a “risk factor” for low testosterone levels.
Future research needs to examine how testosterone levels influence actual behaviors
in marriages.
Hormones: An Afterthought
Hormones primary function is to communicate between the brain and peripheral
organs.
Concentrations of hormones in the blood are unlikely to be strongly related to the
brain processes that regulate behavior, feelings, and thought.
Research on the biological processes in the brain are going to be more important for
the understanding of personality.
Personality and the Brain: Serotonergic System
- influences many different brain areas that regulate different functions (mood, sleep,
eating, sexuality)
Drugs that selectively influence Serotonin
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are legal drugs that influence
serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
The illegal drug “Ecstasy” also influences serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
SSRIs block the reuptake mechanism, which prolongs the stimulation of dendrites.
Ecstasy reverses the reuptake mechanism which depletes the axon of serotonin.
You cannot get high on Ecstasy while you are taking SSRIs because the SSRI blocks the
reuptake mechanism.
Ecstasy enters the axon through the reversed reuptake mechanism, which may
damage the axon.
Ecstasy depletes the cell of serotonin, and people may feel depressed while serotonin
levels are restored (hang-over).
Personal Relevance
If you suffer from excessive depression/anxiety that interferes with your daily
functioning and makes it impossible for you to feel good about yourself and your life,
you should consult your physician or health services and request to see a
psychotherapist and/or psychiatrist.
Drug-Induced Changes in Personality
Participants. 51 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to a placebo group or a
treatment group (20mg of paroxetin = Paxil).
Procedure.
- The levels of paroxetine in the blood were recorded daily.
- Participants’ mood (Positive Affect, Negative Affect) was assessed over the next four
weeks.
Conclusions
SSRIs lower neuroticism scores.
Other drugs also lower neuroticism.
SSRIs also influenced extraversion.
No simple relation between neurotransmitters and traits.
Week 7
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:02 PM
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 13 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Which statement about modern evolutionary theory of human sexuality is
CORRECT?
A. It predicts that women are never interested in casual sex.
B. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when they are not in a
committed relationship.
C. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex if they do not have children.
D. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex with a highly attractive male.
E. It predicts that women are interested in casual sex when women outnumber men.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Gender differences in sexual attitudes still exist in traditional cultures, but not in
modern cultures.
B. Gender differences in attitudes have decreased, but gender differences in
behaviors have remained the same over the past decades.
C. Gender differences in sexual behaviors still exist and they explain more than 80% of
the variation in sexual behaviors.
D. Gender differences in behaviors still exist but they explain less than 50% of the
variance in sexual attitudes.
E. Gender differences for most sexual behaviors have disappeared except for the
number of sexual partners.
I presented data on the stability of various personality characteristics (e.g.,
attractiveness, intelligence, Big Five), after taking measurement error into account.
Based on these correlations, what is the probability that an individual who is above
average in intelligence is still above average in intelligence five years later.
A. 51-60%
B. 61-70%
C. 71-80%
D. 81-90%
E. 91-100%
A twin studies of life-satisfaction (LS) found a correlation of r= .4 for MZ twins and a
correlation of r= .1 for DZ twins. What can we conclude from this finding?
A. The shared environment has a strong effect on LS.
B. Heritability of LS is 60%.
C. Genes and the shared environment matter.
D. Genes have a stronger influence than the environment.
E. The effects of genes on LS are complicated (non-additive).
Genetic and Environmental Effects on Personality: The Evidence
Heritability of the Big Five
There have been dozens of twin studies of personality traits (mainly E and N, but also
O, A, and C).
The typical textbook estimate of heritability for the Big Five is 40% to 50%.
Estimates are attenuated by measurement error. One multi-method study found
heritability estimates around 70%.
The estimates for shared environment are typically close to 0%!!!
Shared Environment and Adult Personality
Evidence suggests that shared environment has a stronger contribution on personality
in studies of children than in studies of adults.
This finding suggests that environment contributes to personality, but does not have
lasting effects.
When the environment changes, personality changes.
Longitudinal Twin Studies
Studying twins over time.
Possible to examine the contribution of genes to stability of personality.
Typical finding:
- genes contribute to stability
- environment contributes to change
Example: 80% heritability of stable disposition to be cheerful over a 10-year period
(Lykken & Tellegen, 1996).
Summary
Shared environment (parents) has a weak influence on personality traits (Big Five).
Shared environment has an influence on some behaviors (e.g., smoking).
Shared environment effects tend to be stronger for children than for adults.
The Direct Approach: Linking Genetic Markers to Personality
Twin Studies examine genetic influences indirectly.
Nowadays genetic testing is possible.
New studies try to link genetic markers (individual differences in genes) to personality
traits.
Serotonin Transporter Gene and Neuroticism: A Cautionary Tale
Variation in the serotonin transporter gene
(5-HTTLPR)
Early studies suggested a link with neuroticism
- I cited these studies in previous years in PSY230
Meta-Analyses found no clear effect
New study with large sample found no effect.
Hard to find single genes that contribute to personality (small effect, unreliable
results).
Practical Implications
Using DNA samples to measure personality is not possible.
The best way to find out about your personality is still to systematically study your
own feelings and behaviors.
Gene x Environment Interaction
It is possible that genetic and environmental factors interact (person x situation
interaction).
Gene-environment interactions were difficult to test empirically before genetic testing
became available.
Gene-environment interactions are particularly interesting because they demonstrate
that genetic effects are not inevitable.
Gene x Environment Interaction: Example
Participants. 847 Caucasian members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and
Development Study.
Genotype. Participants were divided into three groups on the basis of their 5-HTTLPR
genotype:
(a) two copies of the s [short] allele (s/s, N = 147; 17%)
(b) one copy of the s allele and one copy of the l [long] allele (s/l, N = 435; 51%)
(c) two copies of the l allele (l/l N=265; 31%).
Stress. Stressful life-events (e.g., health, financial, relationship) between age 21 and
26 were assessed at age 26. Stressful events were unrelated to 5-HTTLPR genotype
(no gene-environment correlation).
Depression. Depression was assessed with three methods:
-Self-Report
- Informant reports. Depression was also assessed by means of informant reports.
- Clinical assessment. A diagnostic interview. 17% of the participants were diagnosed
with depression.
Uncertainty
Caspi et al. (2003) “Until this study's findings are replicated, speculation about clinical
implications is premature”
- Risch et al. (2009). Failure to replicate finding in a meta-analysis of 14 studies.
Wankerl et al. (2010). Problems in the meta-analysis. Failure maybe due to studies
that used self-report measures of stressful events.
Conclusion
-Single-gene studies make it very difficult to obtain conclusive results.
Conclusion
Twin studies suggest high heritability.
So far, molecular genetics studies have failed to find genes that predict personality.
Practical Implications
Like it or not, plastic surgery is a common procedure to change physical appearance.
Like it or not, gene therapy and designer babies are still science fiction - but for how
long?
Physiology of personality
Testosterone Levels as a Trait
Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
Women also have testosterone although levels are much lower.
Rank-order stability. Both men and women differ in their typical levels of
testosterone. Retest correlations are .50 over a period of 10 years (Booth & Dabbs,
1993; Mazur & Michalek, 1998).
Absolute Stability. Absolute levels decrease with age after a peak at age 20.
Heritabilty. Testosterone levels are partially inherited (heritability = 60%; Meilke et al.,
1987).
Other Evidence
Married men with children had lower testosterone levels than married men without
children (Gray, Kahlenberg, Barrett, Lipson, & Ellison, 2002)
Testosterone levels of men in a committed relationship were more similar to those of
married men than to those of unmarried men (Burnham, Chapman, Gray, McIntyre,
Lipson, & Ellison, 2003)
Causality?
A. Trait theory: testosterone level is a cause of stable marriage and divorce.
- Testosterone increases attractiveness
- Attractiveness increases value of mininal
investment strategy
B. Mate theory: getting married lowers testosterone levels
- High testosterone levels increase the risk of
infidelity
- Providing resources for wife and offsprings
increases fitness
C. Both D. Neither
Married men with high testosterone levels…
were more likely to report hitting or throwing things at their wives
to leave home because of trouble with their wives
to have extra-marital sex
to get a divorce
“Sources close to the spouses say the collapse of the marriage was caused by multiple
allegations of the aging action star’s marital infidelities, his increasingly over-the-top
ego trips and Shriver’s realization she played a very minor role in the script of
Schwarzenegger’s life.”
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/zwecker/5293358-452/arnold-will-not-be-
back.html
General Conclusion
Testosterone levels are correlated with marital status.
High testosterone levels may be a risk factor for having a stable, faithful marriage.
A stable, faithful marriage may be a “risk factor” for low testosterone levels.
Future research needs to examine how testosterone levels influence actual behaviors
in marriages.
Hormones: An Afterthought
Hormones primary function is to communicate between the brain and peripheral
organs.
Concentrations of hormones in the blood are unlikely to be strongly related to the
brain processes that regulate behavior, feelings, and thought.
Research on the biological processes in the brain are going to be more important for
the understanding of personality.
Personality and the Brain: Serotonergic System
- influences many different brain areas that regulate different functions (mood, sleep,
eating, sexuality)
Drugs that selectively influence Serotonin
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are legal drugs that influence
serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
The illegal drug “Ecstasy” also influences serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft.
SSRIs block the reuptake mechanism, which prolongs the stimulation of dendrites.
Ecstasy reverses the reuptake mechanism which depletes the axon of serotonin.
You cannot get high on Ecstasy while you are taking SSRIs because the SSRI blocks the
reuptake mechanism.
Ecstasy enters the axon through the reversed reuptake mechanism, which may
damage the axon.
Ecstasy depletes the cell of serotonin, and people may feel depressed while serotonin
levels are restored (hang-over).
Personal Relevance
If you suffer from excessive depression/anxiety that interferes with your daily
functioning and makes it impossible for you to feel good about yourself and your life,
you should consult your physician or health services and request to see a
psychotherapist and/or psychiatrist.
Drug-Induced Changes in Personality
Participants. 51 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to a placebo group or a
treatment group (20mg of paroxetin = Paxil).
Procedure.
- The levels of paroxetine in the blood were recorded daily.
- Participants’ mood (Positive Affect, Negative Affect) was assessed over the next four
weeks.
Conclusions
SSRIs lower neuroticism scores.
Other drugs also lower neuroticism.
SSRIs also influenced extraversion.
No simple relation between neurotransmitters and traits.
Week 7
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:02 PM
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