Been meaning to post on this for a while but, well….
Interesting that one should be able to measure this and reassuring that there is some kind of biochemistry behind the social ape's behaviour. And even that hormones are another possible herd-medium for interpersonal communication (like vision and sound etc)
BUT….(wait for it)…
Reducing behaviour to biochemistry and link this to causality at the same time seems to be a false step.
Individuals' behaviour is shaped by what they sense of others around them (to include hormones now)
Biochemical changes are likely to part of the mechanics behind any change in behaviour (even though whether cortisol is involved in everything is moot)
BUT the cause is what is sensed around the individual, not the hormones themselves
Hormones are just biochemical substances produced in one kind of cell that influences the function of other cells. Not wizardry…or bad things[Q. is this an example of a. reductionist fallacy various b. whatever can be measured becoming important (cognitive scientists have loved cortisol because it is so measurable) c. the desire to blame bad things on something/anything d. some other mistake I haven't spotted?]