Can We Trust This Man? Paul Zak of The Center for Neuroeconomics Studies Ways to Chemically Manipulate Human Beings Into Parting With Their Money

Headlines of studies conducted by Paul Zak, from the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies: OXYTOCIN INCREASES GENEROSITY IN HUMANS; OXYTOCIN INCREASES TRUST IN HUMANS; TRUST: A TEMPORARY HUMAN ATTACHMENT FACILITATED BY OXYTOCIN. Is Paul Zak discussing ways to manipulate hapless humans into accepting the invasion of a cannibalistic alien race? No, but close.

And what the hell is "neuroeconomics"?

Sounds like flim-flam? This is no joke. It is scary, and it's real. Paul Zak and his fun colleagues are actually testing and devising ways that will enable anyone (who can afford it)--and that includes unscrupulous corporate types, sales people, contractors, government officials, etc.--to easily and secretly air-born a brain chemical, oxytocin, into closed environments, and thereby fool intended victims into states of social ease and absolute trust. To quote one abstract from a CNS study:

Here we show that intranasal administration of oxytocin, a neuropeptide that plays a key role in social attachment and affiliation in non-human mammals, causes a substantial increase in trust among humans, thereby greatly increasing the benefits from social interactions.

Imagine the practical uses of "trust drugs" on everyday life. While atomizers in the ventilation systems of closed buildings spray liberal amounts of socializing, trust-inducing chemicals into the air, ignorant victims agree to buy even more car insurance than they really need, invest even more of their money in bad real estate schemes, and believe what Hillary Clinton is telling them no matter how idiotic it is.

Again, this is no joke. This stuff needs to be regulated, and quickly, before Paul Zak and CNS can begin selling "trust" for the noble purpose of helping our economy and facilitating good government. A mega-dose of trust juice will be necessary to convince me such research will ever be used for the good.


  1. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Dear Ms. Brody, you have completely misunderstood my research (I can be snarky too--read the whole article, not just the abstract if you want to see what it's all about). The point of my research on trust and generosity is to find the brain mechanisms behind peoples' own predilections for these virtues. We do this by using oxytocin as a lever to increase empathy, showing that this causes greater generosity and trust. What this means is that our brains do this naturally when are virtuous since our brains release oxytocin. Also note that all this research receives explicit ethics review approval before being done and all individuals provide written informed consent before participating. Come visit our lab sometime and see what we do!

  2. Mr. Zak,

    I'm not sure how you can deny with reasonable certainty that an oxytocin delivery system will not be used in the future for greedy ends. There are plenty of sociopaths who would love to get their hands on this, and for a multitude of reasons.

    Will you even admit the potential for oxytocin abuse?


  3. Anonymous10:18 PM

    Ms Brody,
    I fear you do not understand Zak's study at all. First, the effects of the nasal spray are so small as to make no practical, pragmatic difference in human behavior. Rather, it simply helps to identify how empathy and trust operates in the human brain. In our research studies, we find that anger and hostility are neurologically damaging. So is suspicion and distrust, which causes other people to react aggressively.
    Mark Waldman
    Associate Fellow
    Center for Spirituality and the Mind
    University of Pennsylvania

  4. I'm sorry, Mark, but I don't trust that this brain-tricking technology will be used for moral purposes in the future.

    The potential for abuse is too great.

  5. NEWS!!!

    Here is a company in the UK called BIOTREEE that is selling OXYTOCIN for purposes of injecting it into the air within enclosed environs to RAISE TRUST LEVELS for sales-related activities, and MORE.

    I hate to say it, esp in this case, but I was right. It is already being marketed and used in the most unethical of ways, i.e, to TRICK people into doing things they would not normally do!