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Extended Audio Sample The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, by Paul J. Zak Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (106 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul J. Zak Narrator: Paul J. Zak Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Human beings can be so compassionate, and yet they can also be shockingly cruel. What if there was a hidden master control for human behavior? Switch it on and people are loving and generous. Switch it off and they revert to violence and greed.

Pioneering neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak has discovered just such a master switch, a molecule in the human brain. The Moral Molecule is a firsthand account of this discovery, revealing how evolution built the Golden Rule into our biology. From his laboratory in California to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Zak takes listeners on an amazing and exciting journey to what it means to be human. Zak’s experiments—what science writer Matt Ridley called “the most revealing in the history of economics”—measure a brain chemical called oxytocin found in the bloodstream. His research team has taken blood from thousands of people as they made decisions with money in the lab, played football out on the field, jumped from an airplane, attended a wedding, and many other situations in which human interactions take place—leading his colleagues to sometimes call him the vampire economist.

Ascending from molecules to families to entire societies, Zak’s findings reveal how oxytocin can produce a virtuous cycle of love and prosperity. The Moral Molecule is a journey well beyond common theories about why we make the decisions we do. Zak explains what underlies the great mysteries of human behavior—why some husbands are more faithful than others; why women tend to be more generous than men; why we are sometimes rational and other times irrational. He explores the role of religion in moral behavior, how the moral molecule operates in the marketplace, and—most important, once we understand the moral molecule—how we can consciously use it to make our own lives better.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Miranda | 2/6/2014

    " Loved this book. Another author looks at the role of oxytocin (and other chemicals) and it's effect on human behavior. Quite fascinating! For anyone interested in behavior and its biological underpinnings - this is a must! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Clarence Williams | 1/3/2014

    " Zak has cheapened his good, scientific research into oxytocin by excessively "dumbing it down." It's one thing to write about science for the general public and try to make it an interesting read, but Zak went overboard. This cutesy treatment cheapens important science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Juli | 12/16/2013

    " The most interesting and easiest to follow section of the book was the last chapter. Most of the earlier sections are written like a brain dump - randomly ordered details printed in the order in which they occurred to the author, making the reading tedious at best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kcthinker | 12/16/2013

    " Insightful, it has caused me to bree more aware of my actions. This is a good companion to crucial conversions. "

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