Researchers find that a feeling of compassion for one person may lead to aggression toward another – a process that may be explained by the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin.
If someone we care about is in harm’s way, most of us would do anything to protect that person, even if it means hurting an outside party. Now, a new study by researchers from the University at Buffalo, NY, sheds light on why warm feelings for one person can lead to anger toward another.
That compassion can lead to anger certainly seems illogical.
But study authors Michael J. Poulin and Annette E. K. Buffone – both of the Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo – believe it is down to the actions of two hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin.
The team explains how they reached these findings in their two-part study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.