- Oxytocin modulates selection of allies in intergroup conflict
- Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
- Volume | Issue number
- 279 | 1731
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In intergroup competition and conflict, humans benefit from coalitions with strong partners who help them to protect their in-group and prevail over competing out-groups. Here, we link oxytocin, a neuropeptide produced in the hypothalamus, to ally selection in intergroup competition. In a double-blind placebo-controlled experiment, males self-administered oxytocin or placebo, and made selection decisions about six high-threat and six low-threat targets as potential allies in intergroup competition. Males given oxytocin rather than placebo viewed high-threat targets as more useful allies and more frequently selected them into their team than low-threat targets.
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