Psych Your Mind: A Gene for Empathy?

Last week, my colleagues and I reported a seemingly startling finding: People who had two copies of G version of the oxytocin receptor gene were seen as more trustworthy, compassionate, and kind by complete strangers on the basis of only 20 seconds than people who had at least one copy of the A version of the gene. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide—a chemical messenger of sorts—in our brains that has been linked to empathy, sacrifice, and trust.