A new study into the hormone oxytocin has revealed an interesting social side effect
It’s known as the love hormone, the one that helps boost that bond with your new baby. Produced through cuddles, labour, sex and breastfeeding, in short, it’s pretty magic – but oxytocin also has a potential downside, according to new research.
With all the plus points of oxytocin, scientists were considering giving it to people to help with mild social unease.
To find out whether this would be beneficial, researchers at Canada’s Concordia University looked at what happened when a group of 82 healthy young adults were given a dose of the hormone – and found it actually made them oversensitive to emotions in other people, reading more into facial expressions than necessary.
It made them oversensitive to emotions in other people
‘If your potential boss grimaces because she's uncomfortable in her chair and you think she's reacting negatively to what you're saying, or if the guy you're talking to at a party smiles to be friendly and you think he's coming onto you, it can lead you to overreact and can be real a problem,’ says the study’s author Christopher Cardoso.
‘That's why we're cautioning against giving oxytocin to people who don't really need it.’
Thankfully, this isn’t something that’ll affect you and your little one – so if you’re reading this as you play/hug/feed her, well… as you were.
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