Monday, June 13, 2005

It's all coming clear to me now

The Guardian reported a couple of weeks ago on a hormone that increases trust when sniffed. They say it may help explain romantic relationships and business deals:
Oxytocin plays a role in the bonding between mother and suckling infant; it helps you feel that you "know" someone you have met before, and it plays a powerful role in romantic love and desire.

Now, Swiss scientists report in Nature today, a few molecules in the nostrils will make you more inclined to trust a business partner.
Personally, I'd love to be able to blame my frightful relationship with my ex on a chemical compound but I think the story noted below about love and mental illness may be more relevant.

On the other hand, as The Guardian notes, one fears the impact of these discoveries on the political sphere:

"Some may worry about the prospect that political operators will generously spray the crowd with oxytocin at rallies of their candidates," he adds in Nature.

"The scenario may be rather too close to reality for comfort, but those with such fears should note that current marketing techniques--for political and other products--may well exert their effects through the natural release of molecules such as oxytocin in response to well-crafted stimuli."
Yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Do you think they distribute the stuff like bottles of dristan at cabinet meetings and press conferences? It would certainly explain a lot. The reason it feels so much like political gaslight most of the time is that no one is sharing their oxytocin vials with us left wing bloggers. (And what's with the name? It's like an opiate for the dyslexic.)

(Thanks to S for the link.)

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