Friday, June 1, 2012

"The Moral Molecule" By Paul Zak

Paul Zak is an economist who coined the term "neureconomics." His new book is called The Moral Molecule. I have more on it at my Dangerous Economist blog. It is a great book and he disucsses the role that hormones and neurotransmitters play in trust and empathy, especially oxytocin.

He also mentions how people are affected by stories, myths, drama and narrative. How rituals affect our brains is also discussed and ritual are enactments of myths. He even mentions Greek mythology:

"In the same way that oxytocin and testosterone operate as antogonists, the Greek myths held that Eros, the god of sex, was the child of Aphrodite, who represented love, and Ares, the god of war."

In the book, Zak explains how oxytocin helps make us open to others and willing to trust them and have empathy while being to open can be dangerous, so we have testosterone to keep us wary. I think it is interesting he would use mythology to help make his point.

No comments:

Post a Comment