Thursday, January 13, 2011

The dark side of oxytocin

Nicholas Wade does a further discussion of work I mentioned in my June 22 post on several studies on oxytocin (the 'trust' hormone).
The love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. Psychologists trying to specify its role have now concluded it is the agent of ethnocentrism.


  1. Drew Carey??? -> Nicholas Wade...

  2. Thís is totally in line with my experience. The people who tend to be caring, warm, embracing, hugging, generous and considerate are the very same as those who tend to be xenophobic and oriented towards the local community.
    I have experienced this time and again. And it has always been a puzzle to me:
    How come that people who tend to be so nice and caring support politicians and policies which are by no means nice and caring.
    And on the other hand: The people who are actually in favor of the nice and caring policies often tend to be more detached and remote in face to face social interaction.
    Oxytocin seems to explain this.