What is oxytocin, where is it generated in the body and what are its psychological effects?
Oxytocin is a hormone produced by paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus, transported, stored, and released by the posterior pituitary gland into the bloodstream and brain, which is believed to have a variety of effects and functions (IsHak, Kathloon, & Fakhry, 2011). When the level of oxytocin increases, there is a tendency noticeable in which, people appear more trusting, generous, and altruistic (Mikolajczak, Gross, Lane, Corneille, de Timary & Luminet, 2010). According to Mikolajczak et al. (2010), oxytocin induces a strong effect on the prosocial behavior of a person, particularly trust, and is believed to make a person to be indiscriminately prosocial. Since oxytocin is produced during incidents such as sexual encounters, its effects have a strong implication on emotional and psychological feelings regarding people social relations. Despite this, Mikolajczak et al. (2010) indicates that research on animals suggests that the social effects of oxytocin are largely dependent on context, and as such, the study attempts to manipulate the trustees to determine whether participants induced by oxytocin can trust them in transferring their funds in a trust game.
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How did the authors manipulate the trustworthiness of the trustees’? How effective do you think this manipulation was?
Mikolajczak et al. (2010) study used academic fields such as philosophy and marketing, as well as activities such as playing violent sports and practicing first aid in manipulating the trustee’s trustworthiness. Three types of trustees were used in the study, which were a computer, seemingly unreliable humans, and seemingly reliable humans (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). For instance, investors were likely to trust trustees with philosophical credentials while those who were marketing specialists were likely to be untrustworthy (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). Moreover, trustees who had a feature of playing violent sports were likely to be less reliable as compared to those who practice first aid (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). This manipulation of trustees was effective since the study confirmed the inducement of trust or mistrust amongst the investors following these covariates (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). Participants were assigned a function of an investor and given a mandate to transfer money to these trustees such that when this funds reaches the trustee, they are expected to triple, after which, this trustee is supposed to transfer the money back to the investor either part of it, or all of it, or none of it.
Explain what each significant effect in the paper means. Specifically, discuss the specific effect that provide evidence for the hypothesis that oxytocin makes people trusting rather than gullible
Mikolajczak et al. (2010) study subjected participants of the study with OT Intranasal spray randomly for 45 minutes. After substance inhalation, the participants were given instructions to start a trust game that was perfectly suited to ascertain the level of the investor’s trust on the trustees. Trustees were manipulated to seem trustworthy and untrustworthy using manipulations of academic fields and activities, which they engage in. The scenario is that, if the investor had entrusted all his money to this trustee, and the trustee transfers the money back, one will realize high profits (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). However, if the trustee is not fair and trustworthy, one may end up losing everything. Therefore, Mikolajczak et al. (2010) study attempted to establish the level of trust of these investors through the amount of money they transferred to the trustees having subjected to oxytocin in order to determine the effect of oxytocin on them (Mikolajczak et al., 2010). From the results, it was notable that investors made smaller transfers to unreliable partners, which implies that oxytocin did not induce such magical trusting effects as thought (Mikolajczak et al., 2010).
2nd Proposal of a novel study relating to Mikolajczak et al. (2010) study
Title: Oxytocin Improves Love Relations among Married People: Assessment of Divorcing and Separating Couples
Oxytocin that has been associated with the improvement of emotional parts of a human person can be used to enhance love relations, since it can make people trust one another. Oxytocin is likely to make someone fall in love and using a nasal spray, this study intends to examine whether oxytocin can improve love relations in a marriage context. The study carried out experiments on 10 couples who are experiencing marriage problems, who want to divorce or separate by inducing them with a nasal spray of oxytocin three days in a week for a period of six months. The findings indicate oxytocin spray to be a potent inducer of positive relationship between warring couples.
Various studies have indicated that inducing oxytocin into the brains of most males, makes them strongly to bond with females (Robinson, 2003; Mikolajczak et al., 2010). Oxytocin plays a fundamental role in improving social behavior and when released into the blood stream during sexual arousal, it acts directly by inducing neural roles that improve social contact. Since oxytocin is mainly produced during orgasm, and orgasm is one of the states when love seems to increase between two people in contact, its effect is likely to improve love relations. This study hypothesizes that oxytocin will improve love relations among people who are experiencing difficulties in a marriage.
The identification of 10 couples who want to divorce or separate will be done through visiting divorce court cases. 10 couples experiencing marriage relationship problems will be approached and requested to participate in the study. Only couples who stay together even though they want to divorce will be considered in this study. Both of them will be asked to use oxytocin nasal spray thrice a week for a period of six months. Before the couples are subjected to oxytocin inducement, the study will record each couple’s behavior to each other for a period of one month. Behaviors such as rude, uncaring, caring, kind, unkind, responsible, irresponsible, having sex, not engaging in sex will be recorded. The independent variable in this study is oxytocin, which will be manipulated by avoiding giving 2 couples participating in the study for the same period of six months. Therefore, only eight couples among the participants in the study will be induced with oxytocin while the two will act as a control group. Furthermore, such variables such as age of the couple, number of years in the relationship, having and not having kids, number of kids, occupations, financial status, and age differences will be measured. This will be helpful in observing any alternative explanations to the findings. At the beginning of oxytocin inducement, both the eight (under oxytocin) and the two (oxytocin free) couples’ behaviors will be monitored for a period of six months. The dependent variables in this study are the behaviors elicited positively or negatively such as loving or hating, kind or harsh, rude or polite. Since the study is correlational, these behaviors will be correlated with the ones recorded before oxytocin inducement, and differences determined with the assessment of the control group. The emotional effect of oxytocin will be determined by the nature of behavior variants and the number of couples who wish to continue with divorce or separation. The study will significantly avoid involving children of the participating couples as an ethical consideration of the innocence of children in such marriage problems. Moreover, couples who may reject oxytocin inducement during the study would be exempted from participating. Information provided such as the age of the couples, number of years in the relationship, and the extensity of their marriage problems will remain private.
Oxytocin released during human sexual response in both males and females has a direct effect on behavior (Robinson, 2003). Oxytocin is likely to play a role in coordinating sexual excitement, orgasm, and sexual satiety with social behavior and bonds. Various studies have indicated that oxytocin facilitates social bonding in humans, a stance that is likely to have tremendous implications on love relations particularly in marriage context (Mikolajczak et al., 2010; Robinson, 2003). Both central and peripheral events surrounding the release of oxytocin might induce changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which follow orgasm, and such feelings of satisfaction may give each partner emotional satisfaction, contentment, and love that can help strengthen marriage relationships.
Oxytocin is the Solution to Marriage Problems today: New Study Findings
No one can dispute the fact that, in the world today, families are breaking up, married people are divorcing at a significantly high rate, and many couples are merely cohabiting rather than celebrating the purpose of marriage and family. A variety of studies off course, have endeavored to ascertain the cause of this problem and most of them have either associated marriage problems with financial issues or unfaithfulness. However, most studies have failed to undertake research on the number of times married couples engage in sex. Conversely, sexual encounters and particularly during ejaculation or orgasm, a magical hormone known as oxytocin is produced. Note that, the mechanism through which intimacy is improved is through the actions of this hormone oxytocin. This hormone is released in abundance during lovemaking and it helps in bonding and building trust. It is a hormone that drives the bond between a husband and wife and between a mother and a child. A fundamental problem that people should realize in most marriages today is that couples are busy with work and various commitments, a stance that makes them to have less time together. Therefore, married people today have less time to engage in sex, and as such, failure to release oxytocin in their bodies denies them all the benefits of the generation of oxytocin in the body. Since it works well between sexual partners to foster bonding, oxytocin is the solution to marriage problems today and couples who have little time to engage in sex should instead use oxytocin nasal spray to maintain their love. It is the only way that can bring marriage relationships together which has been threatened by the necessary busy work schedules. The study found out that it contributes decisively to social attachment and acts of social good such as interactions and relationship bonding.
IsHak, W., Kathloon, M., & Fakhry, H.(2011). Oxytocin role in enhancing well-being: A literature review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 130(1-2), 1-9.
Mikolajczak, M., Gross, J. J., Lane, A., Corneille, O., de Timary, P. & Luminet, O. (2010).
Oxytocin makes people trusting, not gullible. Psychological Science, 21 (5), 1072-1074.
Robinson, M. (2003). Peace between the sheets: Healing with sexual relationships. California: