Oxytocin has been shown to increase empathy. Well, what exactly is empathy?
In one study, men who inhaled oxytocin saw photos of faces as less threatening than the control group. In another study, they were better able to infer someone's emotional state based on a photograph showing only the people's eyes after inhaling oxytocin.
Those scientists gave their paper the sexy name, "Oxytocin Improves 'Mind-Reading' in Humans." It's not so easy to measure empathy -- and whether one person has empathy for the other has been the basis of millions of relationship fights. The researchers used a test devised by Simon Baron-Cohen (yes, those Baron-Cohens), a professor of developmental psychopathology at Cambridge University.
For more about the study, read my post, "Insight into Insight." But here's what's fun. You can take the test right now.
Thanks to Adam for the link to the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" test.