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A registered replication study on oxytocin and trust


Fehr, Ernst; Declerck, Carolyn H; Boone, Christophe; Pauwels, Loren; Vogt, Bodo (2020). A registered replication study on oxytocin and trust. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(6):646-655.

Abstract

In an influential paper, Kosfeld et al. (2005) showed that intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT) increases the transfers made by investors in the trust game—suggesting that OT increases trust in strangers. Subsequent studies investigating the role of OT in the trust game found inconclusive effects on the trusting behaviour of investors but these studies deviated from the Kosfeld et al. study in an important way—they did not implement minimal social contact (MSC) between the investors and the trustees in the trust game. Here, we performed a large double-blind and placebo-controlled replication study of the effects of OT on trusting behaviour that yields a power of more than 95% and implements an MSC condition as well as a no-social-contact (NoC) condition. We find no effect of OT on trusting behaviour in the MSC condition. Exploratory post hoc
analyses suggest that OT may increase trust in individuals with a low disposition to trust in the NoC condition, but this finding requires confirmation in future research.

Abstract

In an influential paper, Kosfeld et al. (2005) showed that intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT) increases the transfers made by investors in the trust game—suggesting that OT increases trust in strangers. Subsequent studies investigating the role of OT in the trust game found inconclusive effects on the trusting behaviour of investors but these studies deviated from the Kosfeld et al. study in an important way—they did not implement minimal social contact (MSC) between the investors and the trustees in the trust game. Here, we performed a large double-blind and placebo-controlled replication study of the effects of OT on trusting behaviour that yields a power of more than 95% and implements an MSC condition as well as a no-social-contact (NoC) condition. We find no effect of OT on trusting behaviour in the MSC condition. Exploratory post hoc
analyses suggest that OT may increase trust in individuals with a low disposition to trust in the NoC condition, but this finding requires confirmation in future research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 June 2020
Deposited On:04 Sep 2020 16:49
Last Modified:05 Sep 2020 20:00
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2397-3374
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0878-x
PubMed ID:32514040

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Content: Accepted Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only until 2 October 2020
Size: 553kB
Embargo till: 2020-10-02