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Showing posts from March, 2012

The Higher the Testosterone, the Harder to Cooperate

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2012) — Testosterone makes us overvalue our own opinions at the expense of cooperation, research from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) has found. The findings may have implications for how group decisions are affected by dominant individuals. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120131210259.htm
Problem solving in groups can provide benefits over individual decisions as we are able to share our information and expertise. However, there is a tension between cooperation and self-orientated behaviour: although groups might benefit from a collective intelligence, collaborating too closely can lead to an uncritical groupthink, ending in decisions that are bad for all.
Attempts to understand the biological mechanisms behind group decision making have tended to focus on the factors that promote cooperation, and research has shown that people given a boost of the hormone oxytocin tend to be cooperative. Now, in a study …

Low Choloesterol and Violent Crime

Low cholesterol and violent crime.Golomb BAStattin HMednick S. SourceDepartment of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 92093-0995, USA. bgolomb@ucsd.edu AbstractBACKGROUND:Community cohort studies and meta-analyses of randomized trials have shown a relation between low or lowered cholesterol and death by violence (homicide, suicide, accident); in primates, cholesterol reduction has been linked to increased behavioral acts of aggression (Kaplan J, Manuck S. The effects of fat and cholesterol on aggressive behaviour in monkeys. Psychosom. Med 1990;52:226-7; Kaplan J, Shively C, Fontenot D, Morgan T, Howell S, Manuck S et al. Demonstration of an association among dietary cholesterol, central serotonergic activity, and social behaviour in monkeys. Psychosom. Med 1994;56:479-84.). In this study we test for the first time whether cholesterol level is related to commission of violent crimes against others in a large community cohort. METHODS:We merged one-time cholesterol me…