The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity

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Bantam Press, 2012 - Cooperation - 256 pages
7 Reviews
Why are men less faithful than women? Why are some people altruists and others cold-hearted bastards? Why do some businesses succeed while others collapse? In his entertaining and groundbreaking book, Paul Zak answers these essential questions about human nature and the way we live. Oxytocin, a hormone generally associated with childbirth, is present in all of us and can explain the underlying biology of decision making and behavioural trust. Oxytocin is what makes us empathetic, and is therefore the fundamental control mechanism that orchestrates morality. From his unusual 'vampire studies', which involve taking blood from wedding guests to see if the romantic ritual increases oxytocin (it does), to working with US Military troops to balance oxytocin with testosterone, this study takes us from corporate offices to Buddhist monasteries. In doing so Zak demonstrates how businesses and whole economies are affected by oxytocin, and his studies into an oxytocin based drug that could treat autism, anxiety and post-traumatic-stress disorder, show us its potential influence on society as a whole. Vampire Economics will leave you with new knowledge of human nature, and introduces oxytocin - a chemical that influences every aspect of our lives.

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Review: The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity

User Review  - Clarence Williams - Goodreads

Zak has cheapened his good, scientific research into oxytocin by excessively "dumbing it down." It's one thing to write about science for the general public and try to make it an interesting read, but Zak went overboard. This cutesy treatment cheapens important science. Read full review

Review: The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity

User Review  - Dan Hurwitz - Goodreads

The topic of this book might have made a worthwhile article but, in my opinion, the author worked too hard making it into a book. Evidence of how oxytocin works under varying conditions struck me as murky--certainly not living up to the book's expansive subtitle. There are better reads. Read full review

About the author (2012)

PAUL J. ZAK, Ph.D., is professor of economic psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University. As the founding director of Claremont's Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, he is at the vanguard of neuroeconomics, a new discipline that integrates neuroscience and economics. He has a popular "Pyschology Today" blog called "The Moral Molecule." He makes numerous media appearances, and his research has been featured in "The New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," "USA Today," "Scientific American," "Fast Company," and many others.

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