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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trust: Post #4--Biology

The Biology of Trust: “In the end, biology all comes down to protecting and providing resources for people on your own team.” We give off the drug oxytocin when we trust, and we trust more when we give it off. Understanding the polyvagal theory helps. The vagus nerve controls the heart and other organs. Calm, deep breathing can add vagal tone, slow down the heart, and give off oxytocin, and it causes trust to soar.  More primitive connections to our threat center can turn our minds into distrustful reptiles, which run either to avoid being eaten or to eat the threat! Caution: Oxytocin can help your in-group (family and friends) but act as a threat to out-groups. Keep in mind that “biology is about optimization, not virtue.”

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