The Trust Molecule: Oxytocin appears to be the chemical elixir that creates bonds of trust

Why are some people trustworthy, while others lie, cheat and steal? Part of the answer may reside in a hormone called oxytocin. Claremont Graduate University’s Paul Zak talks with WSJ’s Gary Rosen about how a “vampire wedding” helped him understand how this chemical works to control trust, empathy and virtue.

 

Could a single molecule—one chemical substance—lie at the very center of our moral lives?…

 

In our blood and in the brain, oxytocin appears to be the chemical elixir that creates bonds of trust not just in our intimate relationships but also in our business dealings, in politics and in society at large.

 

 By PAUL J. ZAK

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