Lately it seems like the world has gone to hell.
Not only are things generally kind of terrible, people just aren't nice to each other. There are movements out there that say everyone should suck it up and stop being so sensitive. The thing that often gets overlooked, however, is that another alternative is to just be kinder to others, apologize when you hurt someone's feelings accidentally, and own up to your mistakes. Seems like common sense, but loads of people would rather just look for excuses to be awful.
But what if there were a magic potion that could make people approach new people and situations with kindness? Scientists are getting closer to finding one, and it just might be the thing we need most.
Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone." It's the chemical in our bodies that helps bond mothers and babies and each other with our romantic partners. And as it turns out, injecting even small amounts can change human behavior.
Flickr / Partha S. Sahana
The scientists tested the hypothesis on seals, which were given small doses of oxytocin. They found that newly introduced seals were more likely to bond and stay physically close.
Flickr / laucky
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They also showed less aggressive behaviors. The effects lasted for more than two days, which was surprising because the hormone leaves the system very quickly.
Flickr / cjuneau
Even though they're just testing on seals for now, eventually these studies might make it to humans. When they do, get ready to meet some seriously nice people…at least while the effects of the drug are in place.
Flickr / Global Panorama