This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant SBR–9511600.
Trial Lawyers and Testosterone: Blue-Collar Talent in a White-Collar World1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 84–94, January 1998
How to Cite
Dabbs, J. M., Alford, E. C. and Fielden, J. A. (1998), Trial Lawyers and Testosterone: Blue-Collar Talent in a White-Collar World. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28: 84–94. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01655.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Three studies considered whether trial lawyers, in their hormones and their language, might be regarded as blue-collar workers of the legal system. Study 1 found that lawyers as a group had testosterone levels similar to other white-collar workers and lower than blue-collar workers. Study 2 found that male and female trial lawyers had testosterone levels higher than nontrial lawyers of the same gender; the difference between lawyer types was approximately the same as the difference between blue- and white-collar workers. Study 3 found that trial lawyers used fewer cognitive mechanisms than did appellate lawyers in oral arguments before the Supreme Court. High levels of testosterone are associated with energy, dominance, persistence, combativeness, and focused attention, qualities that are useful both in trial lawyering and blue-collar work.