The neuroscience of oxytocin

The Weak Science Behind the Wrongly Named Moral Molecule

Ten years ago, Nature published a paper with a simple title: Oxytocin increases trust in humans. The paper described an experiment carried out by Swiss scientists, who asked volunteers to entrust money in an anonymous partner. This anonymous partner could either repay their trust by reimbursing them, or betray them by keeping the cash. Amazingly, the volunteers entrusted more money to their partner if, before playing the game, they inhaled a hormone called oxytocin. For years, scientists had shown that oxytocin matters for social interactions in animals. ….[READ]

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