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A Study on Relationship between Serum Cortisol and Serum Norepinephrine Levels and Sensation Seeking Trait among Iranian Male Staff

Author(s): Hamidreza Pouragha, Seyed Jamaledin Shahtaheri*, Iraj Mohammadfam, Hassan Ashayeri, Abbas Rahimi Foroushani and Mahsa Naserpour

Background: The sensation seeking trait as a personality element is the root of many risk taking behaviors. Behavioral biology theories consider this trait as acting under the command of genes and brains as the director. This research was conducted to study the relationship between sensations seeking trait with cortisol and norepinephrine transmitters.

Methods: This study was conducted on 90 Iranian male Workers with an average age of 37.6±6.18 and an age range of 25 to 45 years old. In this study, blood serum cortisol and norepinephrine were measured and their association with the sensation seeking score was assessed by the fifth form of Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale. Pearson correlation test and two-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.

Results: The mean sensation seeking score was 15.49 and the standard deviation was 5.69 and mean serum cortisol level was 14.65 μg / dl with SD 8.83. The mean serum norepinephrine level was 5.4 ng/ml with SD of 4.76. There was not a significant correlation between the overall sensation seeking scale and the serum cortisol concentration (r = -0.243, p >0.05). Also the correlation between serum norepinephrine concentration and the overall SSS was not significant (r = 0.247, p >0.05). Only a significant correlation was found between TAS subscale and cortisol concentration (r = -0.266, p <0.05).

Conclusion: This study supports the theory that the objective assessment of biomarkers related to the sensation seeking trait among Iranian man workers. The results showed an insignificant correlation between cortisol and norepinephrine concentration with sensation seeking trait. Since the correlation between serum cortisol concentration and TAS subscale of SSS was significant, based on the Zuckerman’s Optimal Level of Arousal theory, according to our findings, it seems that more studies about the relationship between TAS subscale and relevant biomarkers, are require so we can conclude that TAS subscale can be used as a risky behavior predictor among workers. As such, it can be used as an introduction to predicting the sensation seeking status among employees as a contribution to their occupational and welfare status in order to select the right employer for a person’s mental status.


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