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The “Love Hormone” Can Make You Racist: Study

Originally posted on TIME:

Corrected April 4, 2014, 3:53 p.m.

The oxytocin hormone is often described as the “love hormone” or “cuddling chemical,” but there might be a darker side to it. Not only does it make you feel all loved-up and happy, but also racist and nepotistic, a new study suggests.

In the study, professor of psychology at the University of Amsterdam Carsten de Dreu found that the loved-up feeling you get when flooded with oxytocin — which is also released by the popular party drug Molly, also known as Ecstasy or MDMA — only extends to your “in-group.”

Oxytocin, he said, “motivates in-group favoritism” and “derogation” of outsiders. He added that it had “a role in the emergence of intergroup conflict and violence.”

In the study’s experiments, the participants — all Dutch males — were told that they had to choose five persons out of six that would gain access to…

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