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American Journal of Bioethics.

Chemical Trust: Oxytocin Oxymoron?

Writing in the journal Nature, Michael Kosfeld and colleagues reported
that intranasal administration of oxytocin, a human neuropeptide
involved in maternal bonding, ?causes a substantial increase in
trusting behavior, thereby greatly increasing the benefits from social
interactions.?1 The double-blind study involved a trust game with real
monetary stakes, in which the subjects played the role of either an
investor or a trustee. Investors could choose whether and how much
money to invest with an anonymous trustee, and the trustees could
choose whether to honor or violate the investors? trust. The investors
who had inhaled the oxytocin invested 17% more money than those who
received the placebo.

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Volume 5, Issue 3
May 2005