Oxytocin for extroversion


It’s not completely unheard of to find out someone has tossed back a glass of wine before a blind date, but it would be a bad deal to toss back that glass before a job interview. For many people shyness and introversion is a serious impediment to functioning normally and during high stress times, like a job interview or speaking engagement, introversion can be debilitating.

There may be an alternative to the “cup of courage”. In this case, a nasal spray featuring oxytocin. New research from Concordia University has reviewed this intranasal form of oxytocin that can improve self-perception in social situations. Oxytocin is a natural hormone released in women after the birth of a baby and notably during other bonding phases, even after sex. It has been investigated for its impact on social behaviors and confidence building.

“Our study shows oxytocin can change how people see themselves… a person can perceive themselves as more extroverted, more open to new ideas and more trusting,” explained senior author mark Ellenbogen, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Psychopathology at Concordia University and a member of the centre for Research in Human Development.

They used healthy subjects, men and women, between the ages of 18 and 35 who were on no medications. They administered the nasal spray and asked questions 90 minutes later. The participants were then evaluated for neuroticism, extroversion, openness to new experiences, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

“Participants who self-administered intranasal oxytocin reported higher ratings of extraversion and openness to experiences than those who received a placebo… Specifically, oxytocin administration amplified personality traits such as warmth, trust, altruism and openness,” said first author Christopher Cardoso, member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.

Source: Psychopharmacology, MedicalNewsToday


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