Cooper, Lindsay Blair - Endocrine Response to Social Rejection: The Effect of Testosterone and Cortisol on Pain Sensitivity ...

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This thesis has been submitted to the Library for purposes of graduation, but needs to be audited for technical details related to publication in order to be approved for inclusion in the Library collection.
Term: 
Spring 2017
Degree: 
M.A.
Degree type: 
Thesis
Department: 
Department of Psychology
Faculty: 
Arts & Social Sciences
Senior supervisor: 
Neil Watson
Thesis title: 
Endocrine Response to Social Rejection: The Effect of Testosterone and Cortisol on Pain Sensitivity
Given Names: 
Lindsay Blair
Surname: 
Cooper
Abstract: 
An expanding body of literature suggests that common neural underpinnings governing physical and social pain are evolved adaptations that punish social disengagement by using pain as a signalling mechanism for social rejection. Such a mechanism is necessary in the face of fitness benefits afforded by group living from which a ubiquitous need to belong has grown. Salivary testosterone and cortisol were examined in the context of fluctuating pain sensitivity in response to a social evaluation with a confederate. It was expected that a greater evolutionary prescribed tendency to seek interpersonal support would result in physiological responses to rejection in females leading to reductions in pain sensitivity. While non-significance was found for cortisol, results implicate testosterone as an important factor in altering sensitivity after social interactions in men. This relationship between testosterone and pain may be a function of dominance and increased status seeking resulting from acceptance in a social interaction.
Keywords: 
Rejection; Need to Belong; Pain Sensitivity; Testosterone; Cortisol
Total pages: 
82