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Could "mommy hormone" make us more trusting?
Researchers at the University of Zürich believe they have created a "trust potion" based on the chemical Oxytocin, a brain molecule that is involved in the bonding between mother and infant. The researchers tested the spray on two groups of "investors", who were given a certain amount of money to invest with "trustees". The results? The Oxytocin control group showed maximal trust - i.e., invested all of their money with trustees - twice as much as the group given a placebo.
While researchers hope to use the spray to treat patients with autism or social phobia, some worry that the findings could be abused by those looking to pull a fast one on their fellow man. One scientist gives the example of a politician spraying a crowd with Oxytocin in order to obtain their trust. Seems a little far-fetched - after all, won't the chemical eventually wear off? Still, you have to admit, that mommy bonding is some potent medicine…
(Thanks to reader AJ for the tip. Got a tip? Send it in!)