The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works

Paperback | November 26, 2013

byPaul J. Zak

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"Philosophy, economics, and biology have rarely been so entertaining."—Matt Ridley, author of Genome

Paul J. Zak's proclivity for taking blood samples has earned him a nickname as the "vampire economist." But his sanguinary habit is backed by his scientifi­c quest: What if there was a master switch for human behavior? On, and people are loving and generous. Off, and they revert to violence and greed. By studying thousands of blood samples, Zak has pinpointed just such a switch: a brain chemical called oxytocin. Sprinting around the globe and into the human brain, ­The Moral Molecule is a dazzling narrative as erudite and entertaining as bestsellers like Flow, Drive, and Why We Love.

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From the Publisher

"Philosophy, economics, and biology have rarely been so entertaining."—Matt Ridley, author of Genome Paul J. Zak's proclivity for taking blood samples has earned him a nickname as the "vampire economist." But his sanguinary habit is backed by his scientifi­c quest: What if there was a master switch for human behavior? On, and people ar...

Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., is a professor of economics, management, and psychology at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.01 × 5.35 × 0.53 inPublished:November 26, 2013Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142196908

ISBN - 13:9780142196908

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“This is an important book. Empathy, cooperation, trusting, heroism, stinginess, skepticism, anger, tough mindedness: Paul Zak unpacks these and other deeply human feelings with his pioneering research into brain chemistry and his keen journalist eye--exposing the dignity (and treachery) within our common human nature. You will never think about lobsters, gossip,"butt slapping" footballers, middle management or the recent housing bubble fiasco the same way again. It's a "must know" and a great read."—Helen Fisher, author of Why We Love “Paul Zak tells the remarkable story of how he discovered and explored the biochemistry of sympathy, love and trust with the narrative skill of a novelist. Philosophy, economics and biology have rarely been so entertaining.”—Matt Ridley, author of Genome“An ancient mammalian molecule prods us to bond with others. Paul Zak offers a most engaging account of this important discovery, bound to overthrow traditional thinking about human behavior, including economics and morality.”—Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy “Paul Zak's investigations into the best things in life are inspired, rigorous, and tremendous fun. We need more daring economists like him.”— Tyler Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch“Zak has always been intrepid, with a sense of innocent but parsimonious wonder, and as a result his book on rather severe issues is nevertheless fresh—and moral.”—Lionel Tiger, author of God’s Brain