A sniff of trust: Meta-analysis of the effects of intranasal oxytocin administration on face recognition, trust to in-group, and trust to out-group

Marinus H. Van IJzendoorn*, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The neuropeptide oxytocin has a popular reputation of being the 'love' hormone. Here we test meta-analytically whether experiments with intranasal administration of oxytocin provide support for the proposed effects of oxytocin. Three psychological effects were subjected to meta-analysis: facial emotion recognition (13 effect sizes, N= 408), in-group trust (8 effect sizes, N= 317), and out-group trust (10 effect sizes; N= 505). We found that intranasal oxytocin administration enhances the recognition of facial expressions of emotions, and that it elevates the level of in-group trust. The hypothesis that out-group trust is significantly decreased in the oxytocin condition was not supported. It is concluded that a sniff of oxytocin can change emotion perception and behavior in trusting relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Human behavior
  • Intranasal administration
  • Meta-analysis
  • Oxytocin
  • Trust

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