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Oxytocin, Chemical of Connection and Envy

Still another clue that oxytocin's effects are much more complex that we expect. We already saw that the cuddle hormone, brain chemical of love, trust and connection, also increases feelings of gloating.

Well, looks like oxytocin contributes to envy, as well. Simone Shamay-Tsoory at the University of Haifa's Department of Psychology found that inhaling oxytocin increased feelings of envy when test subjects played a game where chose a door and got whatever prize was hidden behind it. 

What does this mean for all the interest in using oxytocin to help people with autism/ASD, social anxiety disorder, etc., as well as all the folks huffing products sold on the internet? Says Shamay-Tsoory,

"We used to think that oxytocin was only related to pro-social emotions," Dr Shamay-Tsoory said. "But then there were studies on rats showing that oxytocin can enhance aggressive behavior."

"Now this is the first study on humans, and our findings suggest that oxytocin has a more general effect on social emotions, not just positive and pro-social emotions," she said. "This means that if we are going to try use oxytocin we need to take into account that it has negative effects."