The Moral Molecule

The Moral Molecule

How Trust Works

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142196908
  • 256 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult

Overview

“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.
 

Praise

“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

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Fun Fact

Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.

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