Fortune smiled on the disingenuous recently, as Swiss researchers discovered that people exposed to oxytocin become more trusting and willing to invest money. Oxytocin, a hormone secreted in the brain and used in (among other things) some nasal sprays, can be used to treat social phobias. It may also weaken people’s resistance to patronizing rhetoric and sales pitches. (In the study, 45 percent of the test subjects were willing to invest a maximum amount of theoretical money.) We wonder how long will it be before politicians request that elections be held during allergy season. And think about the prospects for marketers. You may believe that most consumer products are inane and useless, but wait until they get you good and toasted on oxytocin. You might even end up buying Britney’s next CD.
—Posted by David Kiefaber