The effect of testosterone oscillations on men’s consumer behavior

  • Catarina de Almeida Norte (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


From the color to the smell, all aspects that influence the consumer when buying are studied and manipulated whenever possible. Yet, sometimes inherent biological phenomena are nottaken into account as much as they should. In women, the oscillation of female hormones is known to trigger cravings for comforting food during menstruation, and for shopping for clothes or beauty products during ovulation. For men, the role that fluctuations in testosterone plays in their consumption patterns is not so obvious. Based on the academic literature, an experimental study was carried out to identify, empirically, whether a man's response (in the form of wanting to smoke, drink alcohol or ingest unhealthy foods) differed depending on manipulation-induced drops or rises in testosterone. The results tell us not only that fluctuations in testosterone may induce certain behaviors, but also that the desire to smoke, drink alcohol or eat unhealthy food could significantly be impacted by the following factors: long-term pre-manipulation testosterone production; the frequency of consumption of tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food; and the participant's perception of the stimuli. Furthermore, evidence shows that testosterone could have both a reward or a comfort effect, depending on the stimulus and frequency of the habit.This study has important implications for public policy.
Date of Award4 Feb 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorDaniel Fernandes (Supervisor)


  • Testosterone
  • Consumer behavior
  • Reward effect
  • Comfort effect
  • Hormones
  • Desires


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

Cite this