Public Release: 

Oxytocin, altruism, and xenophobia

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

In a study that included around 180 participants, on average 21-24 years of age, who completed a task involving 50 authentic case vignettes featuring refugees or native people in need, researchers found that participants who received low scores on an assessment of xenophobia exhibited increased altruistic preference toward refugees upon administration of oxytocin, whereas participants with higher scores did not exhibit enhanced altruism toward refugees after oxytocin administration; however, oxytocin administration, combined with information on peer-derived altruistic norms, was associated with an increase in refugee-directed donations by 74% among participants with high scores.

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Article #17-05853: "Oxytocin-enforced norm compliance reduces xenophobic outgroup rejection," by Nina Marsh et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: René Hurlemann, University of Bonn, GERMANY; tel: +49-228-287-19123; e-mail: <renehurlemann@icloud.com>

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