Ola Kneifel

IB1 SL Psychology
Mr. Lauder
20/09/13

Explain how two hormones influences human behavior.

A hormone can be defined as a chemical released by a cell, a gland, or an
organ in one part of the body that affects cells in other parts of the organism. In
animals, hormones are often transported in the blood. Additionally, hormones
are responsible for various functions such as but not limited to: stimulation or
inhibition of growth, bodily rhythms, and regulation of metabolism.
Oxytocin is a hormone found in mammals, sometimes referred to as the
“trust hormone”. Its effect on human behavior originates in the brain, where it's
produced by the hypothalamus, and then transfers to the pituitary gland, which
releases it into the bloodstream. Early findings revealed oxytocin to play roles in
sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth. It is released in
large amounts during labor, facilitating birth, and maternal bonding.
Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various social
behaviors, such as pair bonding, social attachment and an increase in generosity.
In 2008, a study by Holt-Lundstad et al. revealed yet another oxytocin-related
effect: stress reduction. It was found that after an increase in positive physical
contact between husband and wife oxytocin levels rose, and the husband’s blood
pressure decreased. This allows psychologists to forecast other positive health
outcomes the higher the oxytocin levels in the organism.
Another hormone in the human body is adrenaline. It is secreted in the
Adrenal glands, located above both kidneys. This hormone is known for the
"flight or fight" reaction and arousal. Thus adrenaline is a hormone that helps an
organism deal with an external threat (in the environment) in preparing the
body to fight it or run away.
Adrenaline can increase flow of oxygen and blood to the brain
(increasing activity in the heart and dilating blood vessels). Adrenaline also
causes several other reactions in the body: increase in heart rate and blood
pressure, dilation of pupils in eyes, transfers key resources (such as oxygen and
glucose) away from internal organs to the extremities of the body, functions like
digestion are less important thus slowed down being focused in helping an
organism fight or run away from danger