Oxytocin Contributes To People’s Social Behavior, Makes Them Extroverts

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Some people find themselves stressed in several situations like first job interview, first date, and social gatherings, like parties. This stress can overwhelm them, to the point of being too shy and introvert. In such situations, there is a barrier in interacting with other people, and in improving their interpersonal relations. They need an effective antidote combat this shyness and will eventually make them more sociable. The new research of Concordia University, published in the Psychopharmacology Journal, might just be the answer to their problem—the intranasal form of oxytocin.

Oxytocin, fondly called as the “hormone of love” and “cuddle chemical”, is a hormone released naturally during and after childbirth or during periods of social bonding. This was said to have an effect on social attitude and enhance a person’s self-perception in social situations.

According to senior author Mark Ellenbogen, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Psychopathology at Concordia University and a member of the Center for Research in Human Development, their investigation revealed that oxytocin can modify the way people perceive themselves. It makes them more open to ideas, which led to their becoming more extroverted and sociable.

The participants of this study were 100 males and females, aging from 18 to 35 years old. The eligibility criteria for them are the following: (1) not taking any medication; (2) not suffering from any current or past mental illness; (3) not using recreational drugs; (4) and not smoking cigarettes. Moreover, the participants self-administered the hormone oxytocin through a nasal spray; then, they accomplished the questionnaires describing how they felt ninety minutes after. They were further observed for conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion and openness to new experiences.

The first author Christopher Cardoso (a graduate student in the Concordia Psychology Department and member of the Center for Research in Human Development) elaborated that the participants who inhaled oxytocin intra-nasally had higher ratings of being open to experiences and more extraversion, compared to those who only took the placebo. He added that the said hormone was noted to augment personality traits like altruism, openness, trust and warmth.

This research was founded on the experimental studies before of Concordia University that demonstrated how intranasal oxytocin influences people’s perception in dealing with difficult situations. Still, studies are being made to give more light to the impact of oxytocin to other aspects of the human body.




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