Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trust and Wealth

Trust is essential for trade. No trust, no trade, no society, no business, no wealth. You could say trust is the very basis of a prosperous society.

But what is the basis for trust? Why do we trust some people and not others? How do we deal with breaches of trust?

It turns out trust may have a neurochemical basis. An article in Scientific American discusses the possibility that oxytocin, "a hormone recognized for its role in social attachment and facilitation of social interactions, is also important in the formation of trust."

The higher the levels of oxytocin in the brain, the more likely an individual is to trust another person. This could explain why some people trust everyone, indiscriminately, while other people trust no one. It may not be a part of their behavior they can easily control.

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