Dr. Love, as he is affectionately known, Paul Zak discusses his research on the molecule of connection — oxytocin. While this may be an oversimplification, he presents fascinating findings on experiments of trust and trustworthiness, and opines on whether oxytocin may be the biological arbiter of morality.
When we feel trust, trusted, and connected our brains release oxytocin. However, 5% of the population does not release oxytocin on stimulus. Women who have been sexually abused, for instance, and not surprisingly, may not produce oxytocin in situations where it is produced for others. Testosterone may inhibit oxytocin. Go figure, guys.
I found it surprising that using social media increases oxytocin. Perhaps this explains its broad appeal.
What is Dr. Love’s prescription? Eight hugs a day. I’m about eight shy for today, so I’d better get busy!
For a more critical perspective on oxytocin read here.