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Oxytocin and Trust – University of Zurich Study

Could Oxytocin Help People to Trust Others?

Trust is something that most people strive to achieve. It is an essential part of forming meaningful and deep relationships, both at work and on a personal level. Without trust, the act of maintaining a relationship can be extremely hard work and unrewarding for those involved.

Can Oxytocin Help Us Trust Again?Trust is something that can often take many years to build up. However, it can be instantly broken; for example, in a marriage if one partner has an affair, it can be extremely difficult to win back that trust. In many cases, it can prove to be impossible.

For those people who have been betrayed in the past, it may be difficult to form trusting relationships with new friends or partners going forward. In extreme cases, where a person has been betrayed, they may start to avoid social interactions with other people. This can often lead to social phobias and disorders.

Is there a cure for not trusting people?

The good news is that there may be help out there for those that find it difficult to trust others. A new study [1] by the University of Zurich in Switzerland has been carried out to establish the brain’s response to breaches of trust, and how it reacts following those breaches.

Oxytocin has a role to play

Oxytocin, which is often dubbed the “love drug” by many scientists, is thought to play a key role in helping the brain to recover following cases of betrayal. Oxytocin is a natural hormone that is released by the brain to help people bond with others. It is the hormone that helps bring on labor during childbirth, and the production of milk in lactating mothers. It is responsible for that strong bond between mother and child. Aside from this, oxytocin has also been found to strengthen the bond between partners during and after sex, and higher production levels can be triggered by many types of touching, such as kissing, cuddling and orgasm.

Oxytocin is integral to the formation of trust

It has been suggested that oxytocin also has an integral role to play in the formation of trust. The Zurich University study, led by Dr. Thomas Baumgartner, “highlights the neural mechanisms through which oxytocin acts to facilitate trust behavior by investigating what happens in the brain when trust breaks down.”

Oxytocin helps people to forgive and forget

Two groups of participants were given either an oxytocin nasal spray or a placebo. The researchers used functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan and monitor each person. The subjects were then asked to act as “investors” in a trust experiment spanning multiple rounds and involving several different “trustees.” They were then asked to play a risk game, where they were to invest sums of money with each trustee. In between rounds, the participants were told that around 50 percent of the investments they had made had resulted in bad investments due to a breach in trust. Those that had received the placebo then played on with a decreased level of trust. The group that had received oxytocin, however, played on investing similar sums of money and with similar levels of trust.

A promising result for those with trust issues

The Zurich University study has promising results for the health industry, as well as those members of the public that can relate to the problems experienced through not being able to trust others. Trust is essential to building social relationships, and breaches of trust have a significant effect on our social behavior. Understanding the relationship between oxytocin and trust will be an important step forward for those looking to provide treatment for people with trust issues.

Oxytocin Factor is a non-prescription supplemental oxytocin in either a sublingual liquid, which is dripped underneath the tongue, or a nasal spray for quick and convenient application. Online reports and testimonials are proving highly positive, with results ranging from improvement to complete eradication of the problem.

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

[1] http://www.neuron.org/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0896627308003279

 

 

 

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