Love hormone Oxytocin also bolsters envy

Washington: Oxytocin known as the love hormone also affects antisocial behaviour such as envy and gloating, says a new study.

"When the person`s association is positive, Oxytocin bolsters pro-social behaviour. When it is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments," explains study author Simone Shamay-Tsoory of Haifa University in Israel.

The present study comprised 56 volunteers, half of whom inhaled the synthetic form of the hormone in the first session and were then given a placebo (a dummy drug) in the second session. Others were given a placebo first and Oxytocin later.

Following administration of the drug, each participant was asked to play a game of luck along with another competitor.

Each of the participants was asked to choose one of three doors and was awarded the sum of money that was hidden behind that door.

Sometimes the participant gained less money than the other player, and sometimes more, creating conditions in which a person might well develop feelings of envy or gloating.

Participants who inhaled the love hormone displayed higher levels of envy when the opponent won more money and of gloating when they were ahead, a Haifa release said.

These findings were published in Biological Psychiatry.


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