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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#22: Group Mind pt. 3: Oxytocin Atrocities

We use religious cults as an example of extreme group psychology to make generalizations about the group dynamics that determine sociopolitical possibility. We investigate the relationship between ingroup cohesion and outgroup animosity, the oxytocin-laden war rituals of chimpanzees, the unique human developmental biology associated with social cognition, and the general neurobiology of the repetitive group dynamics we encounter.

Bibliography for episode #21:

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Arueti, M., et al. (2013) When two become one: The role of oxytocin in interpersonal coordination and cooperation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 25(9):1418-1427.

Aydogen, G., et al. (2017) The detrimental effects of oxytocin-induced conformity on dishonesty in competition. Psychological Science doi: 10.1177/09567976176951001

Bruneau, E. G., et al. Empathic Control through Coordinated Interaction of Amygdala, Theory of Mind and Extended Pain Matrix Brain Regions. Neuroimage DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.034

Bruner, E., et al. (2016) Evidence for expansion of the precuneus in human evolution. Brain Structure and Function doi:10.1007/s00429-015-1172-y

Carter, C. S. (2014) Oxytocin pathways and the evolution of human behavior. Annual Review of Psychology 65:17-39.

Cikara, M., et al. (2014) Their pain gives us pleasure: How intergroup dynamics shape empathic failures and counter-empathic responses. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55:110-125.

De Dreu, C., et al. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. PNAS 108(4):1262-1266.

De Dreu, C. & Kret, M. E. (2015) Oxytocin conditions intergroup relations through upregulated in-group empathy, cooperation, conformity, and defense. Biological Psychiatry doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.03.020

Hare, B. & Woods, V. (2020) Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity. Penguin Random House.

Harris, L. T. & Fiske, S. T. (2009) Social neuroscience evidence for dehumanized perception. European Review of Social Psychology 20:192-231.

Hublin J-J, Neubauer S, Gunz P. 2015 Brain ontogeny and life history in Pleistocene hominins. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 370: 20140062.

Kuzawa, C. W., et al. (2014) Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323099111

Pietraszewski, D. (2013) What is group psychology? Adaptations for mapping shared intentional stances. In: Banaji, M. & Gelman. S., Eds. Navigating the social world: What infants, children, and other species can tell us. pp.253-257.

Samuni, L., et al. (2016) Oxytocin reactivity during intergroup conflict in wild chimpanzees. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1616812114

Sheng, F., et al. (2013) Oxytocin modulates the racial bias in neural response to others' suffering. Biological Psychology 92:380-386.

Sripada, C. S., et al. (2013) Oxytocin enhances resting state functional connectivity between amygdala and medial frontal cortex. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 16:255-260.

Stallen, M., et al. (2012) The herding hormone: Oxytocin stimulates in-group conformity. Psychological Science 23(11):1288-1292.

Zhang, H., et al. (2019) Oxytocin promotes coordinated out-group attack during intergroup conflict in humans. eLife doi: 10.7554/eLife.40698

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