Stay up to date on everything mediation!

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

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
<xTITLE>Study Finds High-testosterone People Feel Rewarded By Others' Anger</xTITLE>

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 is CEO of Mediate.com.  From 2017 to 2020 Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider Colin co-founded, in 2017. From 2003 to 2011 Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.  Colin co-founded Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, in 1999 and served as its CEO and President.  Colin worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. He received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution in 2013. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.  You can read many of his articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.



Email Author
Author Website

Additional articles by Colin Rule