The Moral Molecule

A chemical messenger called oxytocin accounts for why some people give freely of themselves and others are coldhearted louts, why some people cheat and steal and others you can trust with your life, why some husbands are more faithful than others, and why women tend to be nicer and more generous than men. In our blood and in the brain, oxytocin appears to be the chemical elixir that creates bonds of trust not just in our intimate relationships but also in our business dealings, in politics and in society at large.

Full article on the effects of the oxytocin hormone on human behavior by Paul J. Zak in the WSJ.

Comments (3)

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  1. Buster says:

    Oxytodcin is also thought to bond together mother and baby.

  2. Joe Barnett says:

    The potential returns to lying increase as a population becomes more trusting (and therefore gullible). The movie to see is The Invention of Lying (2209).

  3. brian says:

    Apparently, there is a synthetic version of oxytocin under the names of Pitocin and Syntocinon.