Does Oxytocin Increase Empathy?

Empathy is an emotion that is directly related to the bonds that were formed in childhood. “Children from secure and loving backgrounds develop enhanced motivation and competencies for empathy and compassion for self and others, in comparison with children from insecure backgrounds,” said Helen Rockliff of the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology at the University of Bristol in the UK, and lead author of a recent study.


“Feeling that one is the recipient of care and support from others creates a feeling of safeness and soothing linked to well-being, whereas feeling uncared for is linked to mental and physical health problems.” She added, “The degree to which people feel secure and wanted in their current relationships is positively associated with positive affect and negatively associated with cyclothymic and dysthymic temperament in both student and bipolar disorder groups.”