If you thought Oxytocin was just a "love drug", you may need to think again.
(Scientific American)- Oxytocin is often thought of as a "love drug," and is linked with all kinds of feel-good emotions in people such as trust, empathy and generosity. Increasingly, however, scientists are finding that the hormone has a dark side—and now researchers have discovered it also can promote ethnocentrism, potentially fueling xenophobia, prejudice and violence.
Past studies have shown that oxytocin fosters social feelings—between mates, for example, or mother and child—which explains why this "cuddle chemical" might be linked with goody-goody behavior such as altruism. Social feelings, however, are not always positive ones, reasoned social psychologist Carsten de Dreu of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. For instance, ethnocentric people view their own group as better than others—they feel closer to their compatriots, but potentially at the expense of outsiders.