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Publisher Description

A Revolution in the Science of Good and Evil

Why do some people give freely while others are cold hearted?

Why do some people cheat and steal while others you can trust with your life?

Why are some husbands more faithful than others—and why do women tend to be more generous than men?

Could they key to moral behavior lie with a single molecule?

From the bucolic English countryside to the highlands of Papua New Guinea, from labs in Switzerland to his campus in Souther California, Dr. Paul Zak recounts his extraordinary stories and sets out, for the first time, his revolutionary theory of moral behavior.  Accessible and electrifying, The Moral Molecule reveals nothing less than the origins of our most human qualities—empathy, happiness, and the kindness of strangers.

Science & Nature
May 10
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

The Rizzmeister ,

A thrilling read!

I found Dr Zak's book intriguing, easy to read, clear to understand. He portrayed his emotions well, with plenty of examples to backup his theories throughout the novel. This is the first time I've ever been formally introduced to the science of Neuro-Economics.

As a recent university graduate in the field of Economics, I was a firm believer in the ideals I was taught, especially that of rational self interest. After graduating, I fell in love with the ideas of minimalism, moral sentiments, and behavioral economics as the approach to boosting my well being.

I went back to the basics, which involve what I believe are some of the core necessities of life and made those my focal point towards pursuing happiness: Respect, security, health, character. I buy far less, if any, consumer products for myself. I give to others and don't ask for anything in return. I only engage in collaborative consumption with close friends, which builds a stronger sense of friendship. On average I am far less stressed, and have more discretionary income than before!

We live in an imperfect world, and some days are easier than others. I can notice the difference in my attitude, for example, when I'm adrenaline driven vs oxytocin driven. I could never understand it before, but Dr. Zak's novel put everything into perspective, and has made a change in my personal life.


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