December 11, 2011
Oxytocin Boosts Extroversion?

Intranasal oxytocin spray might make you more extroverted.

Montreal -- First dates, job interviews or Christmas cocktail parties can be stressors for some people. Such social rites of passage have no doubt made shy or introverted individuals wish for a magic potion that could make them feel like socialites, yet the answer might actually come from a nasal spray.

New research from Concordia University, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, has found that an intranasal form of oxytocin can improve self-perception in social situations. Oxytocin, a hormone naturally released following childbirth or during social bonding periods, has recently been investigated for its impact on social behaviors.

"Our study shows oxytocin can change how people see themselves, which could in turn make people more sociable," says senior author Mark Ellenbogen, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Psychopathology at Concordia University and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development. "Under the effects of oxytocin, a person can perceive themselves as more extroverted, more open to new ideas and more trusting."

What's not answered here: Does oxytocin's boosting of the feeling of being more extroverted change behavior? Does oxytocin usage lead to more acts of approaching and interacting with people that one would otherwise be too shy to approach?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 December 11 09:59 PM  Brain Emotion Alteration

Shreela said at December 12, 2011 9:57 AM:

Well, the only time I have elevated oxytocin, I'm not socializing out in public LOL. But I believe that oxytocin makes me cook more elaborate meals than I normally cook :)

PacRim Jim said at December 12, 2011 12:24 PM:

Watch for Chinese-made bottles containing oxytocin for sale on E-bay.
Wonder what they'll actually contain.

solaris said at December 12, 2011 1:28 PM:

>"Watch for Chinese-made bottles containing oxytocin for sale on E-bay"

You can already buy oxytocin spray (or what are supposedly oxytocin sprays) online.

I wonder if oxytocin is why women are more sociable than men.

Phillep Harding said at December 13, 2011 10:52 AM:

Any sort of interaction requires experience. Someone without the experience to back up the sociability is going to come across as a loser. Suggest using it over several weeks prior to needing the aid to get the feel of what to do, and what to not do.

That Guy said at January 8, 2012 2:39 AM:

The title and news story conflate introversion vs. extroversion (a personality dimension) with social anxiety. An extrovert desires social interaction more than an introvert, while someone with social anxiety pursues less social interaction than he desires due to the anxiety.

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