TED Conversations

Amélie Gourdon

Lecturer, Kingston University London

TEDCRED 50+

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Oxytocin, just a positive hormone?

I found Paul Zak's talk disturbingly blindsided me when I first watched it live in July. Recent research showed that at least oxytocin bounding properties have collateral effects which are not so positive. For example, by reinforcijng bounding, it increases preference for our ingroup and prejudice towards the outgroups (De Dreu, Greer, Van Kleef, Shalvi & Handgraaf, 2011).
You can read more about that study (and others regarding oxytocin) on Ed Yong's blog:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/01/11/no-love-for-outsiders-oxytocin-boosts-favouritism-towards-our-own-ethnic-or-cultural-group/

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    Nov 1 2011: Totally makes sense I agree. Even more if you assume that oxytocin encouraging caring for your kins is an evolutionary feature, serving survival purposes.
    My question was somehow more of a comment but for a moment I thought you coud not just comment anymore. What I am really curious to know is what people think of Paul Zak's talk in light of those results, recent yet old enough not to be ignored by him. I know it's TED, not a peer-review paper or a scientific conference, but I find this selection bias rather deceitful.

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