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Oxytocin, the 'love' hormone, promotes group lying, according to Ben-Gurion U. researchers
Date:4/1/2014

greater empathy, lower social anxiety and more pro-social choice in anonymous games; reduction in fear response; and greater trust in interpersonal exchange. It also stimulates defense-related aggression.

In the experiment designed by Shalvi and fellow researcher Carsten K. W. De Dreu of the University of Amsterdam's Department of Psychology, 60 male participants received an intranasal dose of either oxytocin or placebo. They were then split into teams of three and asked to predict the results of 10 coin tosses.

Participants were asked to toss the coin, see the outcome and report whether their prediction was correct. They knew that for each correct prediction, they could lie and earn more money to split between their group members, who were engaging in the same task.

"The statistical probability of someone correctly guessing the results of nine or 10 coin tosses is about one percent," says Shalvi. "Yet, 53 percent of those who were given oxytocin claimed to have correctly predicted that many coin tosses, which is extremely unlikely."

Only 23 percent of the participants who received the placebo reported the same results, reflecting a high likelihood that they were also lying, but to a lesser extent compared to those receiving oxytocin.


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Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-944-4486
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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