Explain, using examples, the function of two
hormones on human behavior
system is a system of glands in the human body that secretes chemicals called
hormones. It is controlled by a brain structured called the hypothalamus.
Cortisol is a
hormone produced by the adrenal cortex in response to stress and to restore
homeostasis (the body’s normal balance). Chronic stress may result in
prolonged cortisol secretion and this can lead to physiological changes such
as damaged immune system and impairment of learning and memory. This is
because high amounts of cortisol results in atrophy of the hippocampus.
Study to use:
Newcomer et al. (1999)
oxytocin is secreted by the hypothalamus and released (1) into the blood
stream via the pituitary gland or (2) into the brain and spinal cord where
it binds to oxytocin receptors. Oxytocin acts primarily as a
neurotransmitter in the brain.
been linked to trusting other people. Experimental manipulation of oxytocin
levels has shown increase in trust.
evolutionary psychologists, trust is an important social tool in the
relationship between humans. Trust is an adaptive mechanism as it helps
humans to form meaningful relationships at a personal and professional
level. Betrayal disrupts bonds of trust and may result in avoidance of the
person who has betrayed you.
to trust and who to avoid is important for survival and the well-being of an
individual. Humans should also be able to move on after experiences of
breaching trust if long-term relationships and mental well-being are to be
could play a role in reducing fear reactions via the amygdala that may arise
as a consequence of betrayal.
Study to use:
Baumgartner et al. (2008)