Published on December 11, 2018 | Updated on January 29, 2019

CORTEX conference by Shaul Shalvi

April 17th, 2014

Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty

How far will people go for their loved ones? Are people willing to lie for the benefit of those they care about? What are the biological foundations for such dishonesty? I will present experimental evidence suggesting that oxytocin, a hormone released during bonding behaviors such as hugging or breastfeeding and associated with trust and cooperation, plays a role in modulating group-serving dishonesty. It appears serving one's group makes violating ethical rules feel justified. The finding evokes the question - is lying always immoral?