Hormone levels higher for soccer fans watching a game, but not upon win

Soccer fans' testosterone and cortisol levels go up when watching a game, but don't further increase after a victory, according to a study published Apr. 18 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The study was conducted with 50 Spanish soccer fans watching the finals between Spain and the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup. The researchers, led by Leander van der Meij of the University of Valencia in Spain and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands, measured testosterone and for fans of different ages, genders, and degree of interest in the game. They found that the increase in testosterone was independent of all these factors, but the increase in cortisol level was more pronounced for dedicated, young, male fans.

The authors write that the testosterone effect is in agreement with the "challenge hypothesis," as increased to prepare for the game, and the cortisol effect is consistent with the "social self-preservation theory," as higher among young and greater soccer fans suggests that they perceived a particularly strong threat to their own social esteem if their team didn't win.

More information: van der Meij L, Almela M, Hidalgo V, Villada C, IJzerman H, et al. (2012) Testosterone and Cortisol Release among Spanish Soccer Fans Watching the 2010 World Cup Final. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34814. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034814

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Men's testosterone levels predict competitiveness

Dec 04, 2006

After a man loses a challenge, whether or not he is willing to get back into the game depends on changes in his testosterone levels, according to new research at The University of Texas at Austin.

Study: Stress hormone blocks testosterone's effects

Sep 29, 2010

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol play a critical role in blocking testosterone's influence on competition and domination, according to new psychology research at The University of Texas at Austin.

Nail-biters yield deadly results, study finds

Apr 13, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sports fans beware: A close win by your favorite team is linked with loss of life for enthusiastic fans after the big game, according to a University of South Carolina study.

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

Oct 24, 2014

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

Oct 24, 2014

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments