Oxytocin and social perception: Oxytocin increases perceived facial trustworthiness and attractiveness

Angeliki Theodoridou*, Angela C. Rowe, Ian S. Penton-Voak, Peter J. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The neuropeptide oxytocin is involved in the development and maintenance of attachment behaviours in humans and other species. Little is known, however, about how it affects judgements of unfamiliar others. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study we investigated the effect of a single intranasal dose of oxytocin on judgements of facial trustworthiness and attractiveness. We found that oxytocin administration increased ratings of trustworthiness and attractiveness of male and female targets in raters of both sexes relative to control ratings, suggesting that higher levels of this neuropeptide may enhance affiliative behaviour towards unfamiliar others. Our results provide evidence in support of a general facilitative role of oxytocin in promoting positive trait judgements. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Translated title of the contributionOxytocin and social perception: Oxytocin increases perceived facial trustworthiness and attractiveness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume56
Issue number1
Early online date1 Apr 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science

Keywords

  • Oxytocin
  • Social perception
  • Attractiveness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Sex differences
  • Affiliative behaviour
  • Hormones
  • NEURAL CIRCUITRY
  • FACES
  • HUMANS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • AMYGDALA
  • COMMUNICATION
  • NEUROPEPTIDES
  • NEUROSCIENCE
  • AFFILIATION
  • VASOPRESSIN

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