Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - Second Place.

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Open Access Thesis


Testosterone; Emotion recognition--Sex differences;


This project focused on the relationship between both circulating testosterone (T), prenatal exposure to T, and perception of emotions in the faces of others. Based on past research, Twas hypothesized to be related to the Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities, which are concerned with reading emotions and intentions of others. More specifically, T was hypothesized to be more strongly related to the perception of dominant emotions compared to the perception of non-dominant emotions. To test this idea, the Test of the Eyes was used, which measures the ability to correctly perceive emotions in pictures of faces (specifically, eyes). To date, this research was the first to examine both circulating T and an indicator of prenatal T in relation to the perception of dominance. Correlational analyses showed that neither exposure to prenatal T, nor circulating T, were related to scores on the ToM test. Consistent with past research, however, women scored better on the test, interpreting emotions better than men. Several different measures of trait dominance were found to be positively related to circulating T, but this relationship was accounted for by gender. Trait dominance was also unrelated to organizational T and to the perception of dominance. Findings, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2014 Award

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

M. Catherine DeSoto, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 53 pages)



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