Should You Hug Everyone You Meet?

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I've never been much for hugging people I'm not related to. But maybe I should reconsider after hearing the testimony of Paul Zak, author of the new book The Moral Molecule . Zak is a pioneer in the study of oxytocin, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of empathy and affection and trust. He was, for example, the first to demonstrate that artificially raising oxytocin levels (via nasal spray) makes people more trusting of potential collaborators. Having increased oxytocin levels in a laboratory setting, he decided to try doing it in the real world. One result, as he explains here, is that he became known as "Dr. Love."

You can watch the whole conversation on BhTV.

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Robert Wright is the author of, most recently, the New York Times bestseller The Evolution of God and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic. More

Wright is also a fellow at the New America Foundation and editor in chief of Bloggingheads.tv. His other books include Nonzero, which was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book in 2000 and included on Fortune magazine's list of the top 75 business books of all-time. Wright's best-selling book The Moral Animal was selected as one of the ten best books of 1994 by The New York Times Book Review.Wright has contributed to The Atlantic for more than 20 years. He has also contributed to a number of the country's other leading magazines and newspapers, including: The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Time, and Slate, and the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times. He is the recipient of a National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism and his books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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