Via Boing Boing: Researchers at Zurich University have found that inhaling oxytocin (a natural neurotransmitter in the brain) can make you more trusting, even toward people who’ve previously betrayed you. From the article:
In this latest experiment, published in the journal Neuron, the researchers asked volunteer subjects to take part in a similar game.
They were each asked to contribute money to a human trustee, with the understanding that the trustee would invest the money and decide whether to return the profits, or betray the subject’s trust by keeping the profit.
The subjects also received doses of oxytocin or a placebo via a nasal spray.
After investing, the participants were given feedback on the trustees. When their trust was abused, the placebo group became less willing to invest. But the players who had been given oxytocin continued to trust their money with a broker.
Potential customers for this revolutionary new development include error-prone ratings agency Moody’s, dope-smoking bridge-playing ex-Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne, and customer–hating cable TV companies around the world.