November 4th, 2014
06:03 PM ET

What happened to trust?

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University and the author of The Moral Molecule about why trust and confidence are at such a low. Watch the video for the full interview.

OK, explain what you mean by that.

So human beings have this unique ability among all animals to actually rapidly form relationships with strangers. So the only way you can do that is to have something in our heads that says Fareed is safe and Bob, next to you, is not safe. So this molecule we found is produced when you observe or are the recipient of a positive social interaction.

So we began examining trust first, but more generally, these positive social behaviors we call moral behaviors.

How do you do the test? How do you figure that out?

So this is an ancient chemical the brain makes. And we actually can see the reflection of what's in the brain by measuring blood. So we take blood before and after. People do tests in the laboratory and in the field. So our trust tasks, we tempt people with virtue and vice by putting money on the table.

So you have money, you can give it to a stranger, it will grow in size. But now that stranger controls it. The question is, if that stranger is someone you can't talk to, can't see, you're doing this by computer, why would you ever send him or her money?

It turns out that the more money you send that person, the more the brain produces oxytocin, and the more oxytocin on board, the more they reciprocate to you from this larger pie, even though they don't have to.

And oxytocin is what? This is the key, right?

So it's a chemical that your brain makes that, before we started running these experiments about a dozen years ago, was only associated with birth, breastfeeding and sex. All of those are much too messy to run in my lab, so I began investigating whether there were other social interactions, as we've seen in animals, which actually produce this brain chemical.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. American Patriot

    I would not even let Fareed write the epitaph of my boston terrier. Let alone a CNN blog. Then again this is me and that is CNN a sludge pool.

    November 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  2. Paulie

    Obama is only getting BLT for lunch today. Lucky if Michele lets him in her knickers.

    November 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  3. Paulie

    Does that mean Billy Clinton won't have another chance at snaking cubans in the oval office again?

    November 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  4. The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

    The damage caused by those putting pressure on people to vote is best illustrated by studying exactly how it was that the NAZI political party got a foothold in Germany.
    You see...

    November 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip German industrialists, many of whom are household names on name brand products today, got tired of paying World War One war reparations. And so secretly began forming a political party aimed at attracting the common ordinary working man. And woman, btw. The Workers Party aka "NAZI" party was born. Now, how to get them feeling obliged to vote. And vote as if the office of the president is a popularity contest.
      They needed an actor to play the part of a man that women would adore and working men would admire. Most of themselves were either too old or too overly obese to play the part.
      One day a sharp looking young man attended one of their meetings at a beer hall in Munich. He walked straight and tall and stared into people's eyes while talking with them. Everyone was charmed by his demeanor. Everyone. Including the wives and girlfriends of the industrialists.
      Only this man was a spy sent by the German government to spy on the industrialists. He was only acting confident and sure of himself. And only acting like he really cared about what a person was saying to him. He had an agenda. He was a spy. His name was Adolf Heidler. You know him as Hitler, and only about his life after becoming addicted to mind altering prescription drugs known for causing weight gain, brain damage, and suicidal ideations.
      @reader: Keep in mind this story is about the damage caused by feeling obligated to vote. Thank you. 🙂

      November 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Northstar Melody

        W t f are you on?!?

        November 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • Jack Black

        .....and that has nothing to do with voting, you lazy sob. Don't wanna vote? Then don't vote. When they take away every right you have, you can tell them ALL about this little story as they process you as a half-wit and throw your ugly ass in a camp somewhere for feebs.

        November 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
      • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

        Now, where were we. Oh yeah. Adolph the spy is macking on the wives and g/fs of rich German Industrialists. He's gotten one of them drunk and in bed at the fabulous Malerwinkle Hotel on the shores of Lake Chiemsee in a town named Lambach. Lambach is also the name of a small town in Austria where a gay priest had rayped little boy Adolph. A town Hitler would order his generals to destroy years later.
        So he's got this bimbo in bed...

        November 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • Jack Black

        L. O. S. E. R.

        November 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
      • Jack Black

        ...and he called up The damaged Philip who told him "I don't know what to do! Is it the same as when I do my donkey?"

        November 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  5. Northstar Melody

    @chrissy how was your night out with Charlie Rangel yesterday?

    November 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • Jack Black

      Watching thru the window, loser?

      November 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  6. chri§§y

    What the hell are you talking about now? I am an old lady i dont have "nights out"! And @ philip after reading all your posts of you talking to yourself, and all your knowledge of bipolar, i have to conclude that YOU are bipolar!

    November 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • Northstar Melody

      That isn't me. Some asshat stole my name. What a childish pos!!

      November 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

      "Bi Polar" is a made up phrase, Chrissy. Naturally depressed people suffering trauma are TOLD that they are bi polar and then pumped full of drugs. Drugs not FDA approved for treating trauma.
      They used to TELL people that they were Manic Depressive but now SAY bi polar. The first pumped drug was Prozac back in 1990. When SSRI antidepressants became available to an unwary public, drug sales increases 400% in one year. Drug sales support Americas medical establishment, btw.
      Some famous people were told they were manic or bi polar over the years. (Brb a job came in)

      November 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • Jack Black

        Since you have no freaking idea what you're talking about you should probably shut up. BPD isn't caused by "trauma", you dumb half-wit. They changed the name if the same condition, numbnuts.

        November 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

        I never said BPD is caused by trauma you nit wit. I said naturally depressed people who suffer traumatic events are TOLD by drug money MDs that they are "bi polar". It's what VA druggers tell troops suffering trauma. And pump troops full of SSRI antidepressants that are NOT FDA approved for treating trauma victims. Drugs with labels warning of suicidal ideation. No wonder suicide is the NUMBER ONE KILLER OF US TROOPS now. Not enemies. Drug induced suicides AND mass killings.

        November 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • Jack Black

        You implied it with this statement, moron: "“Bi Polar” is a made up phrase, Chrissy. Naturally depressed people suffering trauma are TOLD that they are bi polar and then pumped full of drugs. Drugs not FDA approved for treating trauma."

        You are a lying sack of feces. If you can't write clearly, go back to coloring in your Snoopy book, you fool. Shut up.

        November 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • Jack Black

        You also have no god damned clue what troops go through, so you should shut your ugly, lying mouth and let them be, you yellow bellied coward. You know ZERO about psychology, ZERO about the neurosciences, and ZERO about anything you spew about. Do you know anything about PTSD? NO? Then SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

        November 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
  7. Adam

    You tell em chrissy!

    November 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  8. chri§§y

    Lol i wondered why you would ask me something so lame @ Northstar Melody. The troll is a busy little man! And @ Jack Black, spot on about your voting post!

    November 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Jack Black

      Dude has got some issues @chri§§y.

      November 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  9. Crockett

    These forums are getting interesting. Much more lively than one person speaking to itself.

    November 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  10. chri§§y

    Yea that i know @ Jack Black. And @ Philip aka the damage of obligatory voting (which btw is a responsibility not an obligation) you are most definitely wrong about bipolar! My eldest daughter is bipolar and has been for a very long time. Long before they even had a name for it and before i knew she had it! She would burst into tears for absolutely no reason. I just thought she was way emotional. Thank god they finally diagnosed her and shes getting the help she needs. And Philip if youre having such a hard time living in the 21st century go buy an island or something!!

    November 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    And i would also be willing to bet that ANYONE having to be in close proximity to you while you rant and rave about all these things that you have no hope in changing....would need to take a great many "opiods"!

    November 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  12. The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

    Back to why feeling obliged to vote brings nations down.
    And so, here we have Adolph Hitler, a spy for the German government after WWI, in bed with a rich industrialists wife. Yes. Spies sacrifice their bodies in the one of duty. After getting Intel from the hag lady, Hitler became aware of industrialists looking for a puppet to present to the German people. Someone who could act the part. He also contracted an STD...

    November 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

      The new friends Hitler had made while posing as a NAZI sympathizer and prospective member recommended that Hitler go see Dr. Theo Morel, a famous MD called "Doctor to the Stars" of stage and screen who do a lot of fornicating and so contract STDs regularly.
      While visiting the overly obese drug addicted doktor, Hitler confided his childhood trauma and depression issues. The doktor wasted little time with his diagnose: Manic Depression. And immediately began pumping the German spy Adolph full of mind altering drugs. "Vitamins" is what Dr. Morel told Hitler he was taking. Of course they weren't really vitamins but mind altering drugs that make people fat and stupid. And after many years of drug abuse, psychotic.

      November 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • Jack Black

        Your posts grow more insane as the time goes on! You really need to print these out and show them to a qualified therapist! Where are you from? I'll be glad to refer you to one in your area!!
        You're denying that BPD even exists?!? Are you stupid?!?

        November 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

        After being cured of the STD he had contracted from one of the Cheating Housewives of Muenchen, Hitler continued to spy on the men forming the NAZI political party for many months. And also becoming addicted to those "vitamins" NAZI doctor Theo had prescribed. After about a year or so, the drugs began to take their toll. Delusions of grandeur filled Hitler's mind. He started thinking more of himself than was absolutely necessary and lost the deep concern he had for his beloved countrymen he had served so valiantly during WWI. His mind became altered. (Why they are called Mind Altering Prescription Drugs)
        And so his mind was changed; rather than spying on those wealthy industrialists he joined-in with them and quickly rose through their ranks yo become their official spokesperson / rabble rouser.
        Meanwhile, NAZI drug money MD's were doing their part...drugging all of Germany. After not too many years, Germans started getting fat and stupid. And with the new elections coming up, stupid enough to think that voting was a patriotic duty.

        November 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • Jack Black

        You. Have. To. Be. Out. Of. Your. God. Damned. Mind.

        November 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
  13. chri§§y

    I used to think like you @ Philip and i didnt vote because i figured my vote wouldnt count anyway! But then this very wise man, my father, told me he did NOT fight for this country (meaning in the military) so that his own daughter could embarress him by shirking her responsibility by not voting!

    November 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      I voted soon after my polling place opened, and I was back home before 6:30 AM.
      Every citizen should vote.

      November 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Oh, by the way, I was on a drug when I voted. A Bayer product, aspirin.
        My doctor, probably to protect herself from lawsuits, insisted that I take a small amount of aspirin daily. She even gave me a prescription for it, which I did not have filled.
        The aspirin may have influenced me. I hope that I didn'T vote for a bad person.

        November 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
      • Jack Black

        Right on!

        November 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
  14. chri§§y

    Lmao @ hero is back! And @ Jack Black you were quoting a different bloggers post correct? I mean you werent telling me it was a made up disease?

    November 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Jack Black

      Chrissy, I was speaking to the idiot that thinks bipolar disorder is made up. I hope nobody EVER takes his BS seriously because he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.

      November 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  15. Northstar Melody

    Reading the comments on this page, this is what you get when you legalize drugs. These people deserve each other. I am done here.

    November 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  16. The damage of obligatory voting. by Philip

    Had Hitler not become so stupid so as to think he was a real military commander, Germany might well of won the war. He started ordering stupid things like forcing Ferdinand Porsche to bolt extra armor on Germany's amazing battle tanks. The extra weight decreased the synthetic gasoline powered tanks fuel mileage and caused axle bearing to wear out prematurely. Porsche's maintenance schedule was then worthless. Tanks quickly fell into disrepair and oftentimes ran out of gas. Hitler also stupidly shifted funding from jet powered aircraft construction to the V-1 rocket program. Had thousands of jet fighters been built as originally planned, NAZIs would have easily maintained air superiority throughout the war. Allied forces had zero jet aircraft. Obviously, jets are better than propellers when in comes to war planes.

    November 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  17. chri§§y

    Lol @ Northstar Melody...but didnt you read the part where hes against drugs? Oh and especially Bayer Aspirin! You should feel grateful this is his "mood of the moment" lol. Stay tuned...he will move on to UFOs soon! Seriously!

    November 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  18. Cherry Pie

    A new mammal discovered in the remote desert of western Africa resembles a mouse in appearance but is more closely related genetically to elephants, a California scientist who helped identify the tiny creature said on Thursday.

    The new species of elephant shrew, given the scientific name Ganeshascelides Shivacus, inhabits an ancient volcanic formation in Namibia and sports red fur that helps it blend in with the color of its rocky surroundings, said John Dumbacher, one of a team of biologists behind the discovery.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  19. Cherry Pie

    Just landed in Liberia from India !!!!! THANK GOD !!!! Kissed the ground in Monrovia. Checking into a hospital for Ebola/food poisoning.
    Never again will I go to India ever again. EVER!!!

    It is absolutely terrible there beyond words. I will publish my comments as we go along.
    Suffice to say that India is disintegrating. People are beyond belief neanderthals and sooooo many of them. Raiping everything that moves including but not limited to water buffaloes and camels, Spitting, coughing in your face, smelling and just pure unhygienic. No moral values. Womenbeaters. Filthy people. Smell like rotten onions. In fact.....pardon my french..., they smell like pig s hit on a hot Indian summer day.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Ebola? Ebola killed about 1,700 people this year. AIDS now kills 1.7 million annually. We should have quarantined the first AIDS infected men and all who had come in contact with them just as is done for Ebola. Don't you think so too?

      November 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  20. Adam

    Stay on topic. Stu pids

    November 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  21. Adam

    Mmm I love Sara lee frozen cherry pie. Just pop it in the oven, bake it and feast. Cold milk recommended.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  22. Adam

    I see the FOX trolls are here again. Lalida.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  23. Philip

    " turns out that the more money you send that person, the more the brain produces oxytocin, and the more oxytocin on board, the more they reciprocate to you from this larger pie, EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE TO." states this article.
    Like a candidate offering the most government handouts and being very well advertised. Voting for him even if they don't have to. Even giving the wealthiest candidate money out of their paychecks even though they don't have to. They just do it like Germans did for Hitler. Like automatons, really.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Cherry Pie

      Apple Pie is to Americans what gang raipes are to Indian Hinddooze.

      If it was up to hindus they would be raiping apple pies also.

      November 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  24. rupert

    Why would an as.s hole constantly criticized this website. Because the azzhole wants to undermine it.
    If cnn lived up to its responsibility, it would delete this trash.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      It's called Free Speech, Rupert. Namely, the exercising of it. If you don't exercise you go impotent.
      Men have died and the Supreme Court was fought against and beaten by lawsuits that guarantee me this right. Fareed would be like a NAZI if he or his crew deleted my comments. Are your ancestors German by chance?

      November 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  25. rupert

    Blue Saffron is the biggest mega troll.
    Sux to be him. I feel sorry for his mother. She bore a pig

    November 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  26. rupert

    @joey and chrissy. Voting for non presidential elections is good.
    Voting for a u.s. president? Well. That is a joke. U have no voice. We all know the electoral college decides that. Just ask al gore.

    November 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Little monsters become big ones, Rupert. Little mayors become national leaders. It's all the same, big or small. Unless you go impotent. Then size REALLY doesn't matter. Not counting prescription strength hard on pills.

      November 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  27. Philip

    I've been telling of these things for about 4 years on CNN, Humpledink. Get a clue. No, wait. Check that. Engelbert was Humperdink. Rupert is...hmmm. That's a hard one. No famous men of history are named Rupert. So Murdoch it is.

    November 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  28. Cherry Pie


    Come, Seek and Discover. Match India's medievalism to your heart, its girl trashing ways to your mind, and find a groping experience that is yours alone. An India like no other. Dirty, smelly and without toilet facilities. A promoter of Terrorism. DISGUSTING INDIA. COME, COME, EXPERIENCE!!!


    November 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      @Cherry Pie. Try writing that on a sandwich board strapped over your shoulders. Then walk down an alleyway in south central LA. Check back in 9 months and tell us what you named your creamy baby. Mmm k?

      November 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  29. Philip

    @Black Jack. You suggested earlier that I go see a therapist. Get a clue. I'm on my 6th or 7th therapist in the last 15 years or so. My first therapist committed suicide. And I fired my last one after seeing him for almost 5 years. My current therapist is a woman named Shon. Due to child abuse, my emotions never dully developed. And so I am like an immature 18 year old trapped inside of an old man's body. My brothers were also abused, but they took the medical rout. 3 of them are drug addicts and drunkards, and also have doctors prescribing them anti-depressants for many years. All 3 are really stupid now, and two are overly obese now. The 3rd one uses crystal meth too so he is like a skinny looking Frankenstein. My 4th brother is an anti-social wallflower..
    .a hollow man. He stares at people and frowns. And uncontrollably makes a mean face and raises his eyebrows up and down. And then denies doing it. For decades.
    I know I'm different than you people. I'm here learning how to stomach my fellow Americans. One day I will be required to have intense love for them. One day I will have the emotional capacity to actually get 'er done. Until then, what you see is what you get.

    November 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  30. Cherry Pie

    After reading the abusive and filthy comments being posted by the Indians, now i understand that why Abraham Lincoln said that – At times you need to pick up weapon to uphold the righteousness and goodness. I am appalled at the small mindedness of people from India. They have no class. Just prejudice and evilness in their genes. Their comments are reflective of this. I could have flagged them but I prefer to leave them for the world to read and understand the meanness in their ilk.

    November 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Reply
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