The Moral Molecule

The Moral Molecule : How Trust Works

3.82 (401 ratings by Goodreads)
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"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 scientifi-c 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 235 pages
  • 134 x 202 x 16mm | 240g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142196908
  • 9780142196908
  • 389,315

Review quote

"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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About Paul J Zak

Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., is a professor of economics, management, and psychology at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Rating details

401 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 28% (111)
4 39% (155)
3 24% (95)
2 8% (33)
1 2% (7)
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