Saliva testosterone and personality of male college students

James M. Dabbs, R. Barry Ruback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Saliva testosterone was assayed from 47 male college students, who also completed Gough and Heilbrun’s (1965, 1983) Adjective Check List (ACL) and Spence and Helmreich’s (1984) Expanded Personal Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ). Multiple regression onto three ACL scales, hetero-sexuality, exhibition, and self-control, accounted for 33% of the variance in testosterone. Factor analyses on data from an independent sample of 1,000 males revealed three factors, based on fewer than half the items of the original scales, that still accounted for 21% of the variance in testosterone. These factors can be described as engaging versus cold, arrogant versus unpretentious, and steady versus erratic. Subjects with high testosterone levels were engaging, unpretentious, and erratic. EPAQ results indicated that subjects with high testosterone levels are high in expressive behavior. The overall picture is in contrast to findings that testosterone is related to criminal violence. An attempt at replication failed, leaving uncertain the matter of how much reliance can be placed on the present findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalBulletin of the Psychonomic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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