The trouble with testosterone: confidence, aggression and dominance
Another recent study suggested that in male rats at least testosterone seemed to act as a kind of antidepressant when administered to socially isolated ones . Yet it seems that it for humans it is those with already higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, that have the most raised levels after victory, albeit victory in computer games . We also know that in humans both females and males who are seriously depressed often have considerably lower levels of testosterone than control groups , which suggests that confidence levels and optimism are strongly linked to this hormone. A fascinating new theory  just published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology, has recently been proposed to explain some of these issues. It seems that winners have higher levels of testosterone than losers both pre and post-encounter. It seems likely that testosterone levels do indeed rise in response to challenge, but are also higher anyway when mood is more positive and confident, such as when people feel upbeat and expect to win. It seems that there is no rise in testosterone levels when victory is anticipated but there is no positive mood. Thus it seems that testosterone functions as a pleasure hormone and is released when humans expect satisfaction, such as anticipating a good result. The argument is that higher levels decrease anxious feelings, elevate our moods, which in turn increases assertiveness and also often aggressiveness. Maybe not much comfort to despondent Spurs supporters who have not grown up to be confident.
 L. van der Meij, M. Almela, V. Hidalgo, C. Villada, H. IJzerman, P. A. M. van Lange, and A. Salvador, ‘Testosterone and Cortisol Release among Spanish Soccer Fans Watching the 2010 World Cup Final’, PloS one, vol. 7, no. 4, p. e34814, 2012.
 D. Terburg, H. Aarts, and J. van Honk, ‘Testosterone Affects Gaze Aversion From Angry Faces Outside of Conscious Awareness’, Psychological Science, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 459–463, 2012.
 N. Carrier and M. Kabbaj, ‘Testosterone and imipramine have antidepressant effects in socially isolated male but not female rats’, Hormones and Behavior, 2012.
 S. Zilioli and N. V. Watson, ‘The hidden dimensions of the competition effect: Basal cortisol and basal testosterone jointly predict changes in salivary testosterone after social victory in men’, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2012.
 E. J. Giltay, D. Enter, F. G. Zitman, B. W. J. H. Penninx, J. van Pelt, P. Spinhoven, and K. Roelofs, ‘Salivary testosterone: Associations with depression, anxiety disorders, and antidepressant use in a large cohort study’, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2012.
 K. Chichinadze, A. Lazarashvili, N. Chichinadze, and L. Gachechiladze, ‘Testosterone dynamics during encounter: role of emotional factors’, Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, pp. 1–10, 2012.