TED Conversations

Amélie Gourdon

Lecturer, Kingston University London


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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:


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    Nov 1 2011: Sorry for smug comment, but the type of comments that have started appearing now regarding this talk are exactly the product of presenting an incomplete picture of the current research and why it is making me angry (actually nothing smug in me at the moment, just annoyement).
    So when I said I knew that TED is not peer-reviewed publication or conference, implicating that standards can be a bit lower, actually I was wrong. Standards should be higher, because the public of TED is not necessarily a specialist public and therefore does not have all the tools to spot fallacies and biased messages. TED speakers have a stronger duty to give them these tools.

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