The findings of a study released by Science Daily shows that the “love hormone”, oxytocin has been linked to lying. The type of lying, the study suggests, is lying to protect one’s group be it social, business, or family.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the University of Amsterdam did the research with groups. There were 60 men involved in the testing. Some were given a placebo while others were given oxytocin. The men were then split into groups of three and asked to predict the outcome of 10 coin tosses. When asked how they did, 53% of the oxytocin participants reported their group getting 9 or 10 correct while 23% of the placebo group reported the same results. Statistically speaking, the odds of correctly guessing the outcome 90% - 100% of the time is only 1%.
Higher levels of oxytocin create higher levels of empathy, create less social anxiety, reduce fear responses, and stimulate defense-related aggression. Oxytocin is also responsible for couples falling in love as well as mother and child bonding.
This then raises two questions: Are all lies immoral and is lying physical or psychological? No matter the answers to these philosophical questions, the findings are of great importance in the research concerning autism and its link to oxytocin.