Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
Mediate.com

Study Finds High-testosterone People Feel Rewarded By Others' Anger

by Colin Rule
May 2007

From Colin Rule's blog.

Colin Rule

Science Daily, reporting on a U-Michigan press release, May 12: "Most people don't appreciate an angry look, but a new University of Michigan psychology study found that some people find angry expressions so rewarding that they will readily learn ways to encourage them...
 
"It's kind of striking that an angry facial expression is consciously valued as a very negative signal by almost everyone, yet at a non-conscious level can be like a tasty morsel that some people will vigorously work for," said Oliver Schultheiss, co-author of the study and a U-M associate professor of psychology.
 
The findings may explain why some people like to tease each other so much, he added. "Perhaps teasers are reinforced by that fleeting 'annoyed look' on someone else's face and therefore will continue to heckle that person to get that look again and again," he said. "As long as it does not stay there for long, it's not perceived as a threat, but as a reward."
 
The researchers took saliva samples from participants to measure testosterone, a hormone that has been associated with dominance motivation...." <more>
 
Very interesting. I wonder if we'll ever get to a sophisticated understanding of the biology behind cooperation. If your hormones make you empathetic or confrontational, what does that imply about "right" or "wrong"? Is it appropriate to attempt to affect your negotiation style through medication? Maybe some day we'll devise perfumes that negotiators can put into the meeting room to urge collaboration.

Biography


Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.



Email Author
Website: www.modria.com

Additional articles by Colin Rule

Comments